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An Bord Pleanála reports progress on appeals backlog

Words: Roger Milne
Backlog being addressed / Shutterstock_204114727

An Bord Pleanála has highlighted increased productivity and significant progress in dealing with the backlog of longstanding appeal cases in its latest annual report.

An Bord Pleanála notes the upward trend in the number of planning cases received and disposed of continued during 2018.

While total case intake was up 16 per cent to 2,734 compared with 2,570 in 2017, there was a significant jump of 32 per cent in the total number of cases decided during 2018, which came to 2,847, compared with 2,143 cases in 2017.

Despite the increased productivity, compliance with the statutory objective period to decide appeal cases was down on previous years to just over 40 per cent, primarily because of the impact of the transition to the new Plean-IT case management system and an increased caseload.

The report stresses that “during the first eight months of 2019, we have been able to significantly clear the backlog of older cases on hand and improve our overall compliance rate for appeal cases through to end-August this year to 66 per cent”.

“Indeed, the average compliance rate for the months May to August stood at 76 per cent, a level we expect to maintain to the end of the year.”

The average number of weeks it takes to dispose of appeal cases now stands at 19.5 weeks, down from the average of 23.3 weeks recorded last year.

The increase in intake has continued in 2019 with 1,965 new cases received up to the end of August 2019 – up 5 per cent on the same period in 2018. In addition, over the same eight-month period this year, cases disposed of numbered 2,050 (over 20 per cent up on the comparable 2018 total of 1,701 cases).

An Bord Pleanála points out that work to do with the fast-track housing regime has boomed. So far in 2019, the number of cases has increased significantly, with 66 valid proposals received to the end of August (up from 39 over the same period last year) and over the same eight-month period the organisation decided 52 cases, compared with 25 cases in the same period last year.

Up to 31 August 2019, ABP has granted permission for 16,172 housing units and 7,573 student bed spaces.

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