Planners back tightening of rules


PLANNING:THE TRIBUNAL’S findings “demonstrate the need for a tightening of procedures for the zoning of development land”, the Irish Planning Institute has said.

However, it expressed satisfaction that at no stage in the inquiry had the integrity of professional planners been questioned.

“In order to prevent a repetition of mistakes . . . and to ensure that local decision-making is made in the interest of the common good, it is important that the policies adopted at local level are checked before they become statutory,” it said.

It said that consideration needed to be given to making the adoption of a development and local area plan subject to an appeal or approval process before it is finally confirmed. The institute said this should happen in order to provide the necessary checks and balances in the planning system.

“Recommendations in relation to how elected members are involved in decision-making, in particular where they depart from professional and managerial advice in relation to specific applications, are welcomed as these will ensure full transparency in how decisions are made.”

It agreed that national plans should be put on a statutory footing.