Consultants sought to conduct independent planning review

Review to take no more than five months once bidder selected

Jan O’Sullivan: announced her decision to seek the external investigation following a High Court order

Jan O’Sullivan: announced her decision to seek the external investigation following a High Court order

Fri, Jul 26, 2013, 01:00


Minister of State for Planning Jan O’Sullivan is seeking consultants to undertake an independent investigation of planning practices in six local authorities.

A public tender has been issued for a planning expert to examine procedures and practices in Carlow, Cork, Galway and Meath county councils, and Cork and Dublin city councils. The successful bidder must complete their work within five months.

Ms O’Sullivan last month announced her decision to seek the external investigation following a High Court order quashing part of an earlier local authority planning review undertaken by the Department of the Environment.

The internal review was commissioned by former environment minister John Gormley in 2010 to investigate complaints about planning in Dublin and Cork city councils, and Cork, Meath and Donegal county council areas.

The section of the report which was expunged related to Donegal County Council and followed a settlement between the department and a former local authority planner who took a judicial review challenging the findings of the review as they related to him.

Donegal is not one of the counties selected for the external review. The tender documents state that the local authorities selected have been chosen to “represent a broad geographical spread of both urban and rural areas as well as both large and small authorities”.

They direct that the focus of the investigation be on “procedures and practices” within planning authorities “rather than individual planning decisions by either the authorities themselves or An Bord Pleanála”.