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Changes to Irish peat planning regime are put on hold

Words: Roger Milne
Peat bog / iStock-1074737772

Ireland's Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has told planning authorities and other regulatory bodies that changes to the planning regime for large-scale peat extraction have been put on hold following a High Court ruling.

Nearly seven months ago new regulations came into force whereby peat extraction of 30 hectares or more was exempted from the requirement to obtain planning permission under the planning code.

Instead, it would become an activity controlled by Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) licensing operated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

However, as a result of the court ruling, the pre-existing regulatory regime under the planning code for large-scale peat extraction of 30 hectares or more must now come back into operation in the manner that applied prior to 25 January.

The judgment has the effect of reintroducing enforcement of unlicensed large-scale peat extraction into the planning code, including the requirement to obtain planning permission.

The department has stressed that this will remain the position until the final judgment in the court case is made later this year.

Image credit | iStock