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Governance Glossary

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Affordable Homes Partnership (AHP) The AHP was established to co-ordinate and promote the delivery of affordable homes in the Greater Dublin Area. It provides services on behalf of the Minister for the Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the local authorities in the Greater Dublin Area - Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow.
An Bord Pleanála (ABP)An Bord Pleanála was established in 1977 under the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1976 and is responsible for the determination of appeals and certain other matters under the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, and associated legislation, and determination of applications for strategic infrastructure development including major road and railway cases. It is also responsible for dealing with proposals for the compulsory acquisition of land by local authorities and others under various enactments. The Board also has functions to determine appeals under the Local Government (Water Pollution) Acts and the Building Control Acts.
An TaisceFounded in 1948, An Taisce is one of Ireland’s oldest environmental organisations. It is a charity that focuses on the preservation and protection of Ireland’s natural and built heritage.
Archaeological Survey of Ireland (ASI) The ASI is a unit of the National Monuments Service, it was established to compile an inventory of the known archaeological monuments in the State. The information is stored on a database and in a series of paper files that collectively form the ASI Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) (See also ‘Sites and Monuments Record’).
Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) An ACA is a place, area, group of structures or townscape that is of special architectural, historical, archaeological, technical, social, cultural, or scientific, interest, or that contributes to the appreciation of a Protected Structure. It is a mechanism, which aims to identify and protect areas of special significance and promote an awareness of this significance.
Architectural Conservation Area Grant A scheme is to assist the owners of historic buildings in an Architectural Conservation Areas to undertake conservation and repair works necessary to secure their conservation.
Architectural Conservation Officer (ACO) An ACO is responsible for the assessment of the impact of projects, measures and policies on Protected Structures, buildings within Architectural Conservation Areas and on other elements of the historic building stock not specifically protected by statutory designations.
Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs)(See also ‘Housing Associations’ or ‘Voluntary Housing Associations’) AHBs are independent, not-for-profit organisations which provide affordable rental accommodation for people who cannot afford to pay private rental sector rents or purchase their own home, or for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and homeless. AHBs also include housing co-operatives, which are housing organisations controlled by their members/tenants who actively participate in setting their policies.
Association of Architectural Conservation Officers (AACO) An AACO is the representative organisation for professionals with architectural conservation expertise who have been appointed in a number of local authorities in Ireland to implement the provisions within the Planning and Development Acts that seek to protect, conserve and enhance the built heritage of Ireland.
Association of Irish Local Government (AILG)The Association of Irish Local Government is the primary body representing the democratically elected local authority members. The AILG is a networking, policy development and training resource for the elected members of Ireland’s thirty-one county and city councils.
Building Control Acts (1990)(2007)The Acts empower a building control authority to grant dispensations or relaxations, to serve enforcement notices, to inspect works and buildings and to seek High Court orders in relation to buildings and works.
Building Control AuthorityThere are 31 local authorities designated as Building Control Authorities under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014. Building Control Authorities monitor compliance with Building Regulations in their area.
Building Control Regulations (1997) The Building Control Regulations 1997 to 2018 require owners, builders, and registered construction professionals to demonstrate through the Statutory Register of Building Control Activity that the works or building concerned have been designed and constructed in compliance with Building Regulations . Building Control Regulations apply generally to new buildings and to existing buildings which undergo an extension, a material alteration or a material change of use.
Building Control Regulations (Revised) (1997-2018) This revised Statutory Instrument is an administrative consolidation of Building Control Regulations 1997.
Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) This scheme is for the repair and conservation of structures that are protected under the Planning and Development Acts. It aims to support a significant number of labour-intensive, small-scale conservation projects and to support the employment of skilled and experienced conservation professionals, craftspeople and tradespersons in the repair of the historic built environment.
Central Statistics Office (CSO) A statistical agency responsible for the gathering of “information relating to the economic, social, and general activities and conditions” in Ireland. A primary responsibility of the CSO is the National Census carried out every five years.
Chief Executive (CE) Formerly known as County Managers, the Chief Executive performs the executive functions of the city council, county council or city and county council. They supervise, co-ordinate, manage and pay the employees and officers of the council.
CLÁR Programme (Ceantair Laga Ard Riachtanais)(2018) A programme launched by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, designed to address rural areas of special disadvantage. CLÁR provides funding for small scale infrastructural projects in rural areas that have suffered significant levels of population decline.
Conservation Grant SchemesSchemes which encourage the preservation and restoration of buildings/places of historical, cultural and social importance and the safeguarding of these structures. Examples of such Architectural Conservation Area Grants are the Built Heritage Investment Schemes, and the Historic Structures Fund.
Consultation Distance (SEVESO)This is the specified distance from certain establishments within which the Health and Safety Authority must be notified of all planning applications. The requirement comes from the EU Seveso III Directive.
County/City Development Boards (CBDs) (2000) Established in 2000 in each citylocal authority area to co-ordinate and support a more integrated approach to service delivery at local level. They were subsequently dissolved in 2014 and replaced with Local Enterprise Offices.
County/City Development PlanA County/City Development Plan sets out a strategic framework for the proper planning and sustainable development of the administrative area of the local authority, over a six-year period. The plan must be consistent with longer term planning and sustainable development aims, including those set out in the National Planning Framework and Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy.
County Heritage PlanThe preparation of a County Heritage Plan focuses on the identification of heritage issues and requirements at local level and how to address those needs locally, within a regional and national framework.
Derelict Sites Act (1990) Under this Act local authorities are responsible for dealing with derelict sites in their area. They can use certain powers to enforce the clean-up of these sites.
Derelict Sites RegisterUnder the Derelict Sites Act 1990, local authorities are responsible for dealing with derelict sites in their area, they must keep a register of all derelict sites in its area, containing details of the site and owner. They can use certain powers to enforce the clean-up of these sites.
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)DAFM is responsible for the development and regulation of the agri-food sector, the protection of public health and optimisation of social, economic and environmental benefits.
Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment (DCCAE)This Department is responsible for Communications, Climate Action, Environment, Broadcasting, Energy, Natural resources and Postal Services. (This is now Department of Environment, Climate and Communications).
Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (DCMNR) (See the ‘Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment’).
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG) (See the ‘Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage’).
Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DoEHLG) (See the ‘Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage’).
Department of Environment (DoENI) The functions and services delivered by the Department of the Environment (DOE) have been transferred to new departments. Department of Communities (DfC), Department of Infrastructure (DfI) and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Urban Affairs (DAERA)(UK).
Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage(DHLGH) A department within the Irish Government, led by the Minister for Housing, which is responsible for housing, local government, heritage and planning. The mission of the Department is to support the sustainable and efficient delivery of well-planned homes and effective local government.
Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG)(See the ‘Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage’).
Development Contribution SchemeA scheme which allows a planning authority to levy financial contributions for the provision of public infrastructure, facilities, projects or services as a condition of planning permission.
Development PlanA Development Plan shows a local authority's objectives for the sole or primary use of particular areas (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural), for road improvements, for development and renewal of obsolete areas, and for preserving, improving and extending amenities (See also 'County/City Development Plan' above).
Elected Meber An Elected Member has an important role in determining the planning policy for their city/county, as set out in such documents as the city/county Development Plan and Local Area Plans.
EnforcementPlanning enforcement ensures that decisions, taken at the planning application stage, are carried out in the finished building or development. It deals with those who flout the law by ignoring, or not complying with, the planning process. Local authorities (city or county councils) are responsible for the planning system. This includes enforcement relating to breaches of planning legislation and taking action on unauthorised development. Local authorities may apply to the courts to obtain legal orders to stop unauthorised development.
Enforcement NoticeAn enforcement notice is one measure available to a planning authority in performance of its enforcement role. An enforcement notice may be issued when unauthorised development has occurred or when a development has deviated from the original granted scheme. Other measures available include: warning letter and injunction (see below).
European Commission (EC) The Commission of the European Communities. Sometimes referred to as 'European Community'.
European Economic Community (EEC) The organisation of the EEC was established in 1958 by a treaty signed in 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany (now Germany); it was known informally as the Common Market. The EEC was the most significant of the three treaty organisations that were consolidated in 1967 to form the European Community (EC). (See also ‘European Commission’).
Exempted DevelopmentExempted development is development for which planning permission is not required. Categories of exempted development are set out in planning law. There are usually certain thresholds relating to size or height.
Extension of Duration Planning PermissionThe majority of planning permissions are granted for a period of 5 years, unless otherwise stated. To avail of the planning permission, the development must be completed within the 5-year period (or the otherwise stated period). The Planning Act sets out circumstances whereby the duration of a permission may be extended by up to a maximum of 5 years.
Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) A FSC certificate is issued by the Building Control Authority and states that the works or building to which the application relates will, if constructed in accordance with the plans and specifications submitted, comply with the requirements of Part B of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations 1997.)
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) This term is used to describe investment from overseas in the manufacturing and international services sectors and encouragement of existing foreign enterprises in Ireland to expand their businesses.
Framework PlanA non-statutory plan prepared by or on behalf of the Local Authority, or for a specific area providing detail on the desirable framework for the future development, design/or layout of an area. See also ‘Action Area Plan’ or ‘Masterplan’).
Heritage CouncilThe Heritage Council was established as a statutory body under the Heritage Act, 1995. It is an independent state sponsored body which has a responsibility to propose policies and priorities for the identification, protection, preservation and enhancement of the national heritage.
Heritage Plan (2002)The National Heritage Plan was prepared by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands. One of its key priorities is the preparation of local (county) heritage plans covering a full range of heritage issues. The county heritage plan will set out realistic actions to be achieved over a 5-year period and will be consistent with the County Development Plan.
Historic Structure Fund (HSF) This fund supports conservation works to heritage structures, in both private and public ownership.
Housing Action PlansMulti-annual plans for social and affordable housing introduced in 2004, and developed at county/city level.
Housing Act (1988) The Act provided the first legal definition of homelessness in Ireland. While the Act does not impose a duty on housing authorities to provide housing to people who are homeless, it does clearly give responsibility to the local authorities to consider their needs and expand their powers to respond to those needs. Specifically, authorities may house homeless people from their own housing stock or through arrangement with a voluntary body. The Act also enables local authorities to provide a homeless person with money to source accommodation.
Housing AgencyThe Housing Agency is a government body which works with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, local authorities, and approved housing bodies in the delivery of housing and housing services. The agency is also the interim regulator of the approved housing body sector and implements the Pyrite Remediation Scheme.
Housing Assistance Payment Scheme (HAP)The scheme is a social housing support provided by local authorities, who can provide housing assistance for households who qualify for social housing support.
Housing AssociationHousing associations are independent, not-for-profit charities. They provide affordable rented housing for people who cannot afford to pay private sector rents or purchase their own homes.
Housing AuthoritiesLocal authorities were assigned housing functions under the Housing Acts.
Housing Finance AgencyThe Housing Finance Agency provides loan finance to support local authorities and the voluntary and co-operative housing sector in the delivery of social and affordable housing.
Housing Policy Framework (2006) A policy statement for housing established in 2006, which outlined a detailed programme of investment in social and affordable housing and set out the policy directions required for future housing.
Housing ProvidersHousing Providers consist of Housing Authorities (Local Authorities) and the voluntary and co-operative housing sector.
Housing StrategiesUnder the terms of the Planning and Development Acts 2000, as amended, each local authority is required to include within their development plan a housing strategy. Each strategy must contain measures that address the housing needs of the existing and future population in the area of the development plan.
Industrial Development Agency (IDA)The IDA is a non-commercial, semi-state body promoting Foreign Direct Investment into Ireland through a wide range of services. We partner with potential and existing investors to help them establish or expand their operations in Ireland.
Institution of Engineers Ireland (IEI)The Institution of Engineers of Ireland was founded as ‘The Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland’ in 1835. It received its Royal Charter in 1877. It is a recognised body for practicing professional engineers in Ireland.
Integrated Pollution Control Licence (IPC)Licence granted by the EPA which licences and regulates large/complex industrial and other processes with significant polluting potential on the basis of Integrated Pollution Control (IPC). The Integrated Pollution Control approach to licensing dictates that only one licence will be issued to a facility to control all aspects of air, water, waste and noise pollution.
International National Trusts Organisation (INTO)INTO is the umbrella body for the global family of trusts that come together to share experience and resources; to grow the capacity of existing trusts and help develop new trusts in countries where they do not currently exist.
An Internal Departmental Report is a confidential document, which often contains proprietary information.
Irish Concrete Foundation (ICF) The Irish Concrete Federation is the national representative organisation for the Irish aggregates and concrete products industry.
Irish Planning Institute (IPI) Founded in 1975, Irish Planning Institute is the an all-island professional body representing professional planners engaged in physical, spatial and environmental planning in Ireland and Irish planners practicing overseas. The Irish Planning Institute focusesd on the improvement and promotion of the planning profession.
Irish Water (IW) Irish Water was established in 2013 to deliver water and wastewater services based on a national water services utility model under Government policy.
Judical Review(JR) Judicial Review is a mechanism by which an application can be made to the High Court to challenge the decision-making processes of administrative bodies and lower courts. Decisions made by planning authorities and An Bord Pleanála may be challenged in the High Court by way of judicial review. In a judicial review, the court is not concerned with the merits of the decision but rather with the lawfulness of the decision-making process.
JRJudicial Review
Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) An thorough assessment of a specified county with respect to character, value and sensitivity of its landscape.
Land Development Agency (LDA) The LDA is a commercial, State-sponsored body that has been created to coordinate land within State control for more optimal uses where appropriate, with a focus on the provision of housing.
Local Area Plan (LAP) The Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) provides that Local Area Plans may provide more detailed planning policies in certain circumstances including in areas likely to be subject to large scale development during the lifespan of the plan. They must be consistent with the Development Plan and they must detail plans for the proper planning and sustainable development of the area. The LAP seeks to provide a framework for how an area can develop. It is prepared in consultation with the local community and members of the public. It is adopted by the elected members of the local authority.
Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) (2015-2021) The LECP sets out the objectives and actions needed to promote and support economic and community development. The Local Government Reform Act 2014 provides for the establishment of Local Community Development Committees in each local authority area
Master Plan A Master Plan is a dynamic long-term planning document that provides a conceptual layout to guide future growth and development. The Plan can include analysis, recommendations, and proposals for a site’s population, economy, housing, transportation, community facilities, and land use.
Material Alteration Material ateration is defined as "an alteration (other than a repair or renewal), where the work, or any part of the work, carried out by itself would be subject to a requirement of Part A or B of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations” in the Building Control (Amendment Regulations) 2009.
Member States The countries that belong to the European Union.
Metropolitan Area Strategic Plans (MASP) (2019) Derived from the National Planning Framework, MASP is a 12-year strategic planning and investment framework in which key goals are identified to assist in the provision of a strategy for significant enhancement in economic growth and to accommodate population growth within a designated area.
MyPlan MyPlan is a web map portal providing spatial information relevant to the planning process in Ireland. The site is an initiative of the Department of Housing,Local Government and Heritage in conjunction with local authorities.
National Building Agency (NBA) This agency provides consultancy services to local authorities in the provision of social and affordable housing.
National Development Plan (NDP) (2018-2027) The NDP sets out the investment priorities that will underpin the implementation of the National Planning Framework, through a total investment of approximately €116 billion.
National Heritage Plan (See ‘Heritage Plan’).
National Monuments Service (NMS) The National Monuments Service is part of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and plays a key role in the protection of our archaeological heritage. Responsibilities of the NMS include: Conservation and management of national monuments, any arising archaeological issues, carrying out surveys of known sites to compile inventories of monuments, implementing legislation in relation to the protection of monuments and sites, regulating archaeological excavations and providing advice to planning authorities on development proposals that may have implications for archaeological heritage.
National Economic and Social Council (NESC) Established in 1973, the NESC provides an advisory role to the Taoiseach on strategic policy issues relating to sustainable economic, social and environmental development in Ireland.
National Economic and Social Forum (NESF) Established in 1993 by the Irish government, to ‘develop economic and social policy initiatives’, including the commission of relevant research.
Natural Heritage Area (NHA) This is an area considered important for the habitats present or which holds species of plants and animals whose habitat needs protection. Under the Wildlife Amendment Act (2000), NHAs are legally protected from damage from the date they are formally proposed for designation.
National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) The is a state initiative under the administration of the Department of Housing,Local Government and Heritage and established on a statutory basis under the provisions of the Architectural Heritage (National Inventory) and Historic Monuments (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1999.The purpose of the NIAH is to identify, record, and evaluate the post-1700 architectural heritage of Ireland, uniformly and consistently as an aid in the protection and conservation of the built heritage. NIAH surveys provide the basis for the recommendations of the Minister for GaeltachtHousing, Local Government and Heritage toplanning authorities for the inclusion of particular structures in their Record of Protected Structures (RPS). The published surveys are a source of information on the selected structures for relevant planning authorities.
National Planning Framework (NPF) (2018) The NPF is a national document that provides guidance for the high-level strategic planning and development of the country over the next 20 years, that will ensure the sustainable growth of the country (in economic, social and environmental terms). The NPF paired with the National Development Plan (See also ‘National Development Plan’) will set the context for each of Ireland’s three regional assemblies to develop their Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies taking account of and co-ordinating local authority County and City Development Plans to ensure the alignment of national, regional and local plans. (See also ‘Project Ireland 2040’).
National Spatial Strategy (NSS) (2002-2020) Established in 2002, the strategy is a 20-year coherent national planning framework for Ireland. It aims to create a better balance of social, economic and physical developments across the country, strengthened through effective and integrated planning. It has been superseded by the National Planning Framework.
National Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee (NTACC) (1999) This Committee was established in 1999, on a statutory basis,under the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act, 1998 to advise the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage in relation to any general matters concerning accommodation for travellers and any matter referred to it by the Minister.
Newspaper Notice As part of the planning application process, notice must be published in a newspaper circulating in the locality detailing the name of the applicant, name of the planning authority, type of permission being sought, the nature and extent of the development proposed,the location of the development and that observations/submissions may be made within a specified time period.The original page of the newspaper in which notice of the application was published must be submitted with the application.Newspaper notices are also used by planning authorities as a way to engage with and invite the public to make submissions or observations in relation to other duties of the planning authority including: the preparation of development plans/local area plans, variations, development contribution schemes and material contraventions. In certain circumstances the planning authority may use a newspaper notice as a means to notify of decisions or serve notices.
Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS III) This is the European Commission’s classification of sub-national areas for statistical purposes used to facilitate socio-economic analyses of regions.
Observations A written observation (can also be referred to as a submission) is formal correspondence made by either a statutory body, elected member or member of the public in response to an invite to engage in a planning process. Most frequently observations (or submissions) are invited in the processing of planning application. Observations may also be invited in other processes including, for example, Part 8 development or the making of the plan or policy.
Office of the Planning Regulator The OPR was established in April 2019 to enhance proper oversight of the planning system and to promote quality outcomes from, and consistency within, the planning system. The OPR has a range of functions including: independent assessment of all local authority and regional assembly forward planning, conducting reviews of the organisation, systems and procedures used by any planning authority and An Bord Pleanála in the performance of any of their planning functions under the Planning & Development Act 2000 (as amended) and driving national research, education and public information programmes to highlight the role and benefit of planning.
Office of Public Works (OPW) Established in 1831, the OPW is a government office that delivers public services for flood protection, managing government properties and heritage services. The OPW, as the leading agency for flood risk management in Ireland, minimises the impacts of flooding through sustainable planning. A core part of its remit is maintaining and presenting Ireland’s most iconic heritage properties, including Ireland’s two World Heritage Sites, 780 National Monuments and over 2,000 acres of gardens and parklands. It also manages a significant part of the State’s property portfolio and provides accommodation for government departments, over 700 Garda properties and approximately 550 offices.
Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) Originally established in 1824 as the Ordnance Survey Office, OSI is Ireland’s National Mapping Agency. The OSI, later became a state body under the Ordnance Survey Ireland Act 2001. Under this Act, Ordnance Survey Ireland continued its mainstream public service function of creating and maintaining the definitive mapping records of the State.
Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (OSNI) OSNI was established in 1922, it is the official producer of accurate and current geographic mapping data for Northern Ireland.
Outline Permission Outline permission if granted means that the planning authority agrees to the proposed development in principle on a specific site. It does not permit carrying out of work. Outline Permission is generally sought where an applicant wishes to find out whether planning permission would be granted for a particular development, but may not wish to incur the expense of having detailed plans drawn. If you obtain outline permission, you must obtain full permission before starting work. In most cases, a subsequent application for full planning permission must be made within three years of when the outline permission was granted. Outline permission cannot be sought for the retention of a structure, works to a protected structure or a proposed protected structure, or developments which require an environmental impact assessment (EIA), integrated pollution control (IPC) licence or a waste licence.

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