Regulator addresses Property Summit

Speaking at today’s Property Summit 2019, the Planning Regulator, Niall Cussen, stressed how changes in the culture surrounding the planning process in Ireland will have a significantly beneficial effect on the character and infrastructure of the places where we live.

“In the past, planning in Ireland tended to follow an ad-hoc rather than plan-led pattern. This is changing – fast – and this is welcome.

Government policy, through its innovative National Planning Framework backed with investment under the National Planning Framework, sets out an over-arching, all-embracing vision for development and investment in our country. Crucially, our economic resurgence means these plans aren’t aspirations and will become reality under Project Ireland 2040.

A plan-led approach delivers new homes closer to urban areas, not extending from the outskirts of our cities. It will mean that new employment opportunities will be in locations that don’t require lengthy commutes, meaning more time for family and recreation. It envisions dedicated local infrastructure like schools, parks and greenways.

While the strategies mentioned are national ones, it will be at local level where the real impetus needs to come. Currently, local authorities throughout the state, are compiling development plans which will design and inform how hundreds of communities will grow, develop and flourish.

Good planning outcomes critically depend on informed and active participation by local communities alongside local authority planning teams and the elected members. We have tended to have poorer public participation in plan-making in Ireland than we could have. So, the OPR intends to organise training and awareness campaigns to help develop stronger and more effective engagement by the public at the earlier stages of the planning process.

Our goal is to enrich our approach to informed and participative planning.”

This year’s 6th National Property Summit, reviewed the progress of the government’s Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan. Additional topics included innovation in building, tackling the problems still facing the rental sector, addressing affordability and solutions for higher density and sustainable development.