New Tipperary County Development Plan a Strong Model for Sustainable and Climate Friendly Development

Ambitious plan builds on Tipperary’s unique strength and assets

The new Tipperary County Development Plan will mean that Tipperary continues to develop as a vibrant place to live, visit and work with a sustainable environment and inclusive, active communities, the Office of the Planning Regulator, (OPR) has said.

The plan will comes into effect this week, starting Monday, 22 August. In the plan adoption letter, the OPR has commended the local authority’s vision for creating connected communities and a competitive economy in a way that protects and enhances the county’s cultural and environmental heritage.

The OPR has specifically praised the plan for its pioneering preparation of town profiles which identify opportunities for town centre regeneration, support active transport and facilitate low carbon development.

This is the first time that a development plan prepared by Tipperary County Council has been assessed by the OPR. It is also the first development plan which covers the entire county and replaces plans previously produced by North and South Tipperary County Councils.

Established on foot of the Mahon Tribunal Report, the OPR provides independent oversight of the planning system. One way the OPR does this is to independently assess the various stages of local authority plans to ensure they properly apply important national and regional government policies.

Commenting on the new Tipperary County Development Plan, Deputy Planning Regulator, Anne Marie O’Connor said, 

“In many aspects, the Tipperary County Development Plan 2022-2028 is a strong model of a sustainable vision for a county’s growth and development. The council has set clear development objectives for the county’s urban and rural areas which will help support quality-of-life by driving sustainability of the county’s towns and villages, valuing cultural heritage and promoting self-sustaining communities in a manner which is climate resilient.

We were particularly impressed by the inclusion in the plan of specific town profiles. This innovation sets out a baseline for each town with key data such as jobs ratio, transport methods and housing stock. These profiles will also help measure progress over the lifetime of the plan. Furthermore, by including renewable energy targets, the plan demonstrates how the council intends to play a lead role in translating national climate ambition into local climate action.

We are also satisfied with the manner in which the vast majority of our recommendations and observations were addressed at draft plan and material alterations stages. In some cases, while our recommendations were not fully implemented, we felt that the local authority provided good rationale for their decisions.”

In total, the OPR made 12 recommendations and five observations on its submission at Draft Tipperary County Development Plan stage, and four recommendations and one observation in its submission at the Material Alternations stage to the Draft Tipperary County Development Plan. 

Recommendations are made on matters considered to constitute a potential material breach of legislative or policy requirements and which may affect the co-ordination of national, regional and local planning requirements. Observations are advisory and generally issue on discretionary or more minor matters.

Deputy Planning Regulator, Anne Marie O’Connor added:

“County development plans are hugely important documents. These plans set out a vision for the future development of local areas. They decide how the provision of the homes we need will be co-ordinated with wider employment opportunities, retail activity and community facilities

By properly co-ordinating national, regional and local considerations in making its development plan, the members of Tipperary County Council have taken important steps to help ensure that the county’s towns, villages and wider rural communities develop sustainably and are vibrant places to live and work.

I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to both the executive staff and the members of Tipperary County Council for their engagement and hard work over long hours in preparing their development plan and at a demanding time, which included work through the pandemic. We now look forward to continued positive engagement with the planning authority on the preparation of the forthcoming local area plans for Clonmel, Nenagh and Thurles.”