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Murphy announces emergency planning measures 

Words: Roger Milne
Eoghan Murphy / Houses of the Oireachtas

Ireland's local government and planning minister Eoghan Murphy has announced a package of planning-related measures triggered by the coronavirus emergency.

These initiatives would make it much easier to put up temporary health facilities and remove the need for change of use permission for restaurants that want to operate as takeaways.

The minister has also received assurances from local authorities that they will not enforce conditions that limit opening hours and delivery times for shops and pharmacies in order to support the provision of food, medicines and other essential supplies.

In addition, various statutory periods involved with planning and building control legislation would be paused as necessary.

Murphy said: “The measures we are proposing remove planning barriers for temporary medical facilities, allow hard-hit restaurants adapt, protect the supply chain, and preserve the integrity of decision-making and public participation in the planning process. 

“We will keep the situation under constant review as this crisis evolves and respond to any emerging issues in the coming weeks and months.”

Local authority public offices and the offices of An Bord Pleanála are remaining open as much as possible subject to guidelines on physical distancing and any local arrangements around managed access.

The minister will continue to keep matters relating to the planning and building control regimes under review in consultation with planning authorities. He has promised to provide guidance as required.

Image credit |  Houses of the Oireachtas