Planning changes will give public more time to look at applications

Move is welcomed by Friends of the Irish Environment

Planning changes will give public more time to look at applications

Significant changes in online planning requirements

Local authorities are now obliged to put online planning applications within five days of their acceptance.

A Statutory Instrument published at the end of last week and signed by Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, requires that Local Authorities must “publish the application and all documentation accompanying the application on its internet website within five days”.

The requirement also includes any “document relating to a planning application at any time after receipt by it of that application.” 

There is an exception for “exceptional circumstances”.

The requirement has been welcomed by Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE), who have made an increasing number of complaints to planning authorities on behalf of residents who are unable to challenge decisions because of the failure of authorities to publish documents in a timely manner. 

The public has only five weeks to comment on a planning application, a time frame reduced from eight weeks by the previous Government.

“While warmly welcoming any intervention by the Minister to reinforce the public’s right to participate in planning and development, it is to be hoped that he also ensures that Local Authorities receive the funding necessary to do so," said Tony Lowes of FIE. "Local Authorities remain poorly resourced, especially for IT, inspections, and legal strength to ensure enforcement against powerful interests."

“The move is all the more welcome,” he added “‘as public participation in planning will be critical as the impact of global warming increases and hard choices will have to be made.”

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