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03/04/2020

Covid-19 triggers more time for public participation in Ireland

Words: Roger Milne
Consultation / iStock-1145050082

The Irish Government has approved immediate changes to the planning system necessitated by the Covid-19 emergency, which will have the effect of allowing more time for public participation in planning applications.

This will be extended by three weeks. This new time frame will also apply to planning appeals.

As well as adding 23 days to the statutory time periods for processing planning applications within the Planning Acts, the Department for Housing, Planning and Local Government has recommended to planning authorities that all public meetings on development plans should be deferred for the period of the extension, which continues until April 20.

This is considered necessary, as this element of the planning regime requires public engagement and public meetings.

“Given these new restrictions on the movement of people, it is important to extend the public participation periods in the planning system to ensure that the integrity of decision-making is upheld, and to ensure that plan-making for new development can continue,” explained planning and housing minister Eoghan Murphy.

He noted that planning applications can continue to be made by post, and authorities could engage with applicants by electronic means, accepting submissions by post or online. Most authorities have online systems for inspecting planning applications.

Image credit | iStock

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