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National planning policy statement published as Irish government spells out role of new regulator

Words: Roger Milne

The Irish government has published a wide-ranging Planning Policy Statement and, separately, more detail about the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR), a key element of the administration’s proposed Planning Bill.

Both documents have been posted as publications on the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s website. 

The policy statement highlights the role of public participation, professionalism, transparency and accountability in the planning process as well as emphasising the need to ensure that planning decisions are taken in line with the principles of sustainable development.

The legislative proposals make it clear that the minister will be able to over-rule the new planning regulator over proposed directions from the OPR to local planning authorities where development plans conflict with national policy.

Ministers will have to state their reasons in public and lay such reasons before each House of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament).