On Friday, 22 May, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD, signed new Planning and Development Regulations (Planning and Development (Section 38) Regulations 2020 – S.I. No. 180 of 2020). These Regulations provide that all planning authorities are obliged to publish planning application documentation on their websites within five workings days of receipt. The Regulations have immediate effect.

This new statutory requirement is considered necessary in the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic and its associated travel restrictions with a view to facilitating greater use of online access to planning applications by members of the public, maintaining the integrity of the planning system, meeting Aarhus Convention and EU requirements in relation to public participation in decision-making processes, and providing alternative mechanisms to view planning applications.