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Planning controls mooted for licensed premises in Ireland

Words: Roger Milne

Ministers have proposed fresh planning powers for councils to regulate the proliferation of new licensed premises in the shape of bars, off-licences and clubs.

Under this initiative local authorities would be to be allowed to include specific policies in their development plans.

Provisions would be included in the new Planning & Development (Amendment) Bill following concerns about proliferation of new off-licences in certain urban areas.

Councils would be able to set out policies “regulating, restricting or controlling the development of licensed premises” in their development plans.

The proposal was drafted by the Department of Justice and Equality and has been included in the Head and General Scheme of the new Planning and Development Amendment Bill, published by the Department of Environment, Communities and Local Government.

Planning minister Paudie Coffey said: “I have worked closely with my colleague, France Fitzgerald (minister for justice and equality), to deliver this in the heads of the planning and development bill.

“This proposed change will provide for greater alignment between the planning and licensing systems and will give communities, through their councillors, a say in local policies on provisions of new licensed premises.”

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