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Minister makes more time for key elements of planning system

Words: Roger Milne
Irish housing minister Darragh-O 'Brien / Damien Storan, Shutterstock_1782921476

Media reports this week indicate that housing minister Darragh O’Brien is pressing ahead with new legislation that would give councils more time to complete development plans and an extra period for builders to complete schemes where planning permissions are due to expire.

The proposal to allow more time for developers to complete commercial and residential schemes is a response to the pause in construction caused by Covid-19 restrictions, now being lifted.

Under this legislative move the expiry date for planning permissions would be extended by up to a year or until December 2022, whichever comes first.

Eligible developments must have started and have had substantial works carried out – a provision designed to counter the issue of unimplemented permissions.

In recognition of the difficulties faced by councils in drawing up development plans during the pandemic, the minister is proposing to extend the statutory period for plan preparation by up to a year.

It would be a matter for each local authority to decide whether it needs this extra time.

Image credit | Damien Storan, Shutterstock