Planning Regulator Publishes Local Authority Planning Performance Review for Louth County Council

The State’s independent oversight body for planning, the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR), has published its latest review report into local authority systems and procedures in delivering their planning functions.

The report considers Louth County Council’s performance in the context of 11 key operational processes in planning service delivery1. It makes recommendations on how systems and procedures could be improved or how current standards may be maintained.

This is the second local authority review undertaken by the OPR. In September 2021, a review of Tipperary County Council was published.

The purpose of these reviews is to highlight good practice, identify areas for improvement and promote learning across the local authority sector with a view to enhancing the overall planning process.

The report finds that that Louth County Council is generally delivering its key statutory planning functions on an effective basis, with its development management and enforcement functions being delivered within the expected range of national performance trends. The report also identifies some procedures which could be improved through implementation of the 16 recommendations identified in the report.

Chapter IV (‘Review of Planning Functions’) of Part IIB of the Planning & Development Act 2000, as amended, (‘the Act’), in particular section 31AS of the Act, gives the OPR the discretion to review the systems and procedures used by local authorities and An Bord Pleanála in performing their planning functions.

The OPR is implementing a programme of reviews under section 31AS of the Act whereby, broadly over a six-year cycle, each authority will be reviewed. To guide and give structure to the reviews programme, we published the OPR Pilot Methodology for Conducting Reviews of Local Authorities

  1. The 11 processes are as follows:

Forward Planning
Guidelines and Directives
Control of Development
Architectural Heritage
Land Activation
Planning Enforcement
Environmental Assessment
Part XI – Local Authority own-development and Taking-in-Charge
Events and Funfairs
Part XVIII – Miscellaneous Provisions