OPR Launches New Online Research and Training Resource

The Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR), has developed and launched a new on-line resource which brings together a broad range of planning related research material, training materials and the OPR’s planning library in one central location.

The OPR’s Research and Training page https://www.opr.ie/research-and-training/ hosts all of the training material from the OPR’s previous training events for elected members. It will also contain material from upcoming training sessions for local authority and regional assembly staff. The research page will contain output from the OPR’s research programme including items relating to planning issues, planning performance and planning practice.

In addition, the new page incorporates the OPR’s planning library which contains a comprehensive spectrum of planning related resources such as Circulars for Planning Authorities, Guidelines for Planning Authorities, Policy Reports and Policy Directives for Planning Authorities.

The aim of the page is to provide both planning and non-planning professionals with a wide-ranging, up-to-date facility where they can access information relevant to their areas of work, study or research.

The establishment of this new facility is part of the OPR’s remit to engage in research, education and public information about the planning system.

The new facility includes dedicated links for easy navigation to the following three key elements of the OPR’s work:

Research

Under Section 31 Q of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018, the OPR has a statutory remit to conduct research. During our first year, the OPR established the National Planning Knowledge Group (NPKG) comprising representatives from planning authorities, higher education institutes, NGOs, planning institutes, government organisations and departments. Likewise, the OPR undertook extensive consultation with key stakeholders including local authorities’ staff and elected members. The work of the NPKG and feedback from our key stakeholders has informed the OPR’s research programme and is structured under three key themes;

  • Planning issues
  • Planning performance
  • Planning practice

Training

In accordance with the provisions of section 31Q(1)(a) of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018 (the Act) the OPR conducts education and training programmes for members of planning authorities and regional assemblies in respect of the role of such members under the Act. The provisions of Section 31Q(1)(b) stipulate that the OPR shall conduct education and training programmes for members of staff of local authorities and regional assemblies in relation to matters associated with proper planning and sustainable development.

Planning library

One of the OPR’s primary functions, as provided for in the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018 (the Act) is to conduct national planning research, education and training. With this in mind the OPR developed an online resource, in the form of the planning library which brings together a broad range of planning policy guidelines and research in one central, accessible location. A glossary and acronym list are also available to use as technical aids when navigating the library collection.