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Comprehensive review of planning code announced

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By Lisa Broderick & Rowena McCormack


Published 27 October 2021


The Government has announced that the Attorney General will lead a working group of planning law experts, tasked with a review of Ireland’s planning laws. Housing for All - a New Housing Plan for Ireland was launched in September 2021 and includes a range of objectives intended to address the issue of housing supply in Ireland.

The costs and delays associated with the Irish planning system have been well documented. The objective of this review is to improve the government’s ability to implement major programmes, including the National Development Plan and Housing for All Plan, as well as improve Ireland’s national competitiveness.

Uncertainty in the planning system has been attributed to a number of factors, including the system of judicial review. The Government aims to introduce new legislation to reform the judicial review system in particular, so that it deals with “substantive” rather than “administrative” issues.

The Government has also reiterated its’ intention to establish a dedicated Planning & Environmental division of the High Court, akin to the specialist Competition List. It is intended that this will be established in 2022. Given the challenges faced by the Courts in terms of resourcing at present, practitioners will be keeping a close eye on this in particular.