The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, the Minister of State for Planning and Local Government, Kieran O’Donnell, and the Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, have welcomed the publication of the Draft Planning and Development Bill 2022.

The Bill, if enacted, will bring greater clarity, consistency and certainty to how planning decisions are made. It will make the planning system more coherent and user-friendly for the public and planning practitioners.

Among the main provisions in the Bill, the product of a 15-month review of the planning system led by the Office of the Attorney General, are:

  • strengthened legal status for Ministerial guidelines
  • amended focus and lifespan of Local Development Plans: these will be extended from six years to ten years, with a review after Year 5

Plans will be more strategic in nature. They will give a strong sense of what is being planned for particular areas before any planning applications emerge:

  • statutory mandatory timelines for all consent processes, including An Bord Pleanála (ABP) decisions, to bring certainty to the planning consent process
  • changes to Judicial Reviews (JRs) of planning decisions: there will be timelines for various steps in the JR process
  • a re-structuring of ABP: the agency will be re-named An Coimisiún Pleanála and its decision-making and governance structures separated