Mr. Peter Burke T.D. Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning has published Draft Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Development Plans for public consultation.  The Minister invites submissions on matters of process and methodology in the preparation of development plans, as set out in the Draft Guidelines.  The Minister’s announcement marks the opening of the timeframe for making submissions which will be accepted from today, Friday August 13th until 5p.m. on Friday October 8th.

Within the Irish planning system, the county or city development plan is the principal planning strategy document for the development of a local authority area over the six year statutory time period of the plan. A development plan sets out the overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the area of the development plan and consists of a written statement and a plan or plans indicating the development objectives for the area in question.

The Minister commented that:

the plan-making function of a planning authority now operates in a much changed and continually changing policy, institutional and regulatory framework to that which prevailed in 2007 when the Guidelines were last published and this public consultation is a timely and welcome opportunity to reflect such issues.

The Draft Guidelines are intended to provide clarity to assist planning authorities in the preparation of and variation to city and county development plans, and the Office of the Planning Regulator in undertaking the statutory evaluation and assessing plans. Ultimately, the aim is to secure the best possible outcomes for citizens through integrated planning objectives that can be matched by investment and lead to decision-making that delivers the right development in the right place at the right time.

In welcoming the publication of the draft guidelines, Minister Burke noted that

the guidelines will assist in coordinating the approach taken by planning authorities and the Office of the Planning Regulator, to ensure that there is a strong link between national, regional and local planning policies.

Further highlighting the importance of the role of the development plan, Minister Burke added that:

this consultation process offers the opportunity to all stakeholders to submit their views on the draft guidelines and I urge all interested parties to make a submission.

The Minister said he is looking forward with interest to the submissions and hopes to finalise and issue the guidelines before the end of the year.

A copy of the Draft Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Development Plans can be viewed and downloaded here

Submissions can be emailed to nrupconsultation@housing.gov.ie or posted to the following address:

Development Plans Guidelines Submissions,

National, Regional and Urban Planning Section,

Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage,

Custom House,

Dublin 1,

D01 W6X0.

Further information on the consultation can be accessed at here.

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