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Ireland's 'root-and-branch’ planning review deferred

Words: Roger Milne
Simon Coveney / Department for Agriculture

The Irish Government’s promised root-and-branch review of the planning system has been deferred to allow time for current changes to the regime to take effect, housing and planning minister Simon Coveney has said.

This move was highlighted in the minister’s speech at the recent Irish Planning Institute’s annual conference.

Coveney said it made sense to delay the review while the new planning application procedures for strategic housing bedded down and work on the National Planning Framework was progressed. He also pointed out that the Office of Planning regulator was due to be established shortly.

"It would be sensible to commence this ‘root-and-branch’ review once these significant changes are more established,” said Coveney.

The minister revealed that he was seeking additional funding under the Capital Review 2016-2021 for the so-called Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF).

“In the event that we secure more funds, local authorities will be able to resubmit proposals that did not receive funding or, more importantly, advance other new proposals that would meet the evolving LIHAF objectives and we will keep working towards making these proposals happen."

Coveney also stressed that the NPF would be a much more robust initiative than the National Spatial Strategy, which it will replace.

“It will be a statutory document, approved by Parliament, backed by all government departments.”

Coveney stressed that the document would be “a strategy as opposed to a ‘wish list’, and will involve hard choices”.

Image credit | Department for Agriculture