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Information on Complaints

Guide to Making a Complaint to the Office of the Planning Regulator

(Under Section 31AU of the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2018)

Step 1: Preparing to Make a Complaint

The Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) is empowered to examine complaints about planning authorities (i.e. city and county councils) which relate to:

  • the organisation of planning authorities and
  • the systems and procedures used by planning authorities in their planning functions.

On the basis that the OPR’s role is to consider the organisation, systems and procedures of planning authorities, it does not have the role of an appeals body in respect of individual planning decisions.

The OPR may decide that an examination is warranted by the OPR if a complaint is made that a local authority:
– may not be carrying out its functions in line with the requirements of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2018 (“the Act”);
– is not complying with Ministerial Guidelines, Policy Directives and Directions issued under section 28, section 29 and section 31 of the Act;
– may be applying inappropriate standards of administrative practice or otherwise acting contrary to fair or sound administration in the conduct of its functions;
– may be applying systemic discrimination in the conduct of its functions i.e. may be treating persons differently when they are availing of the same service;
– may be operating in a manner whereby there is impropriety or the risk of corruption in the conduct of its functions;
– may be operating in a manner whereby there are serious diseconomies or inefficiencies in the conduct of its functions.

The OPR may decide not to consider the following complaints:

  • A complaint that cannot be substantiated or appears to the OPR to be trivial or vexatious in nature;
  • The person making the complaint, or the person in respect of whom the complaint was made, does not appear to have any interest in the subject matter to which the complaint was made;
  • The person making the complaint has not taken reasonable steps to pursue the subject matter of the complaint with the planning authority concerned. The OPR requests that you allow 6 weeks for a planning authority to reply to your correspondence before making a complaint to the OPR;
  • The person making the complaint has not exhausted any appeal or review procedures open to him or her in respect of the subject matter of the complaint; or
  • Legal proceedings have been instituted in respect of the subject matter of the complaint.

Please note that the OPR shall not exercise any of its functions in relation to any particular case with which a planning authority or An Bord Pleanála is either involved or could be involved. As such if a complaint relates to a case that is ongoing before a planning authority or An Bord Pleanála, then the OPR cannot deal with that complaint.

Step 2: Making a Complaint

If you wish to make a complaint to the OPR, please use our online complaint form by clicking here.

Before completing the form, please check that you have read and understood the guide to complaints above.