‘Comprehensive review’ of State’s planning laws announced

Taoiseach says move is attempt to simplify legislation to accelerate delivery of housing

The Taoiseach said it was vital to ‘get to grips’ with housing, the ‘single most urgent’ social issue facing the country.  Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

The Taoiseach said it was vital to ‘get to grips’ with housing, the ‘single most urgent’ social issue facing the country. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

 

A major review of Ireland’s planning laws has been announced by the Government in a move designed to help implement its national housing strategy.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said an effort to streamline and simplify existing legislation would accelerate delivery.

The “comprehensive review”, which was announced on Tuesday evening and will take place over the next 12 months, will be overseen by the Attorney General and a working group of professionals with planning law expertise.

“[It] will 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,” a statement said.

The statement said planning legislation had over time become unduly complicated and difficult to navigate, and had contributed to significant delays and additional costs in the delivery of housing. The review is due to be completed by September next year.

“The planning legislation review sanctioned by the Government today is of an unprecedented scale.”

Mr Martin, commenting on the plan, said it was vital to “get to grips” with housing, the “single most urgent” social issue facing the country.

“We also committed that the Housing for All plan would be underpinned by accountability and a strong delivery focus,” he said.

“This large-scale planning reform programme, which will bring about fundamental improvements to our planning laws, reflects the approach we are taking overall, with challenging deadlines and a truly cross-Government approach to delivery of Housing for All’s objectives and other major plans.”