Planners welcome outline plans of world’s first Planning Regulator

Planners welcome outline plans of world’s first Planning Regulator

-       Minister emphasises that effective planning is critical to housing response.

-       “Co-ordination between national and local plans and between public and private sector development planning is essential

-       Regulator says that building trust is critical to establishing role in oversight


“The planning community warmly welcomes the formal establishment of the Office of the Planning Regulation (OPR) which will strengthen the co-ordination of planning and support the consistent delivery of more sustainable solutions in development” said Mr. Joe Corr, President of the Irish Planning Institute (IPI).

Mr Corr was responding to remarks made by Mr Eoghan Murphy T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government who formally launched the Regulator’s Office today (Friday, 5 April) at the IPI’s National Planning Conference.

The conference was also addressed by the newly appointed Planning Regulator, Mr Niall Cussen, who was making his first public address in the role

Minister Murphy emphasised his belief that good planning is central to enabling effective and sustainable responses to the current shortages and gaps in development.“To get sustainable development we have to get the planning of land use right. That requires co-ordination between planning at national, regional and local level as well as between the public and the private sector. It means also aligning our investment in transport, infrastructure and community space. It requires us to consider density in development, to engage more actively with communities and to consider regeneration as a primary basis for development.

The Minister confirmed that Ireland is the first country in the world to establish an independent Office of Planning Regulation (OPR) to address these challenges.

The work of the OPR will include:

-       The assessment of regional and local development plans

-       The examination of planning systems and procedures

-       Delivering national programmes of research, education and awareness on planning

Mr. Cussen told the conference delegates that the benefit of that work would be

-       Stronger public confidence in Ireland’s planning process

-       The delivery of better planning services by planning authorities

-       The creation of a body of research on planning to assist policy and practice

-       Greater public awareness of and understanding of planning

Mr. Cussen also outlined the work done to date to establish the Regulator’s office as an independent entity. He confirmed that an organisational structure has been established with nine staff now in place and a further ten planned this year.

The key objective in this first year is to build a strong team. The choice of people will be very important. Building trust with the planning community and with our key stakeholders is critical. While Project Ireland 2040 is a game changer for the scale of planning activity in the foreseeable future, the OPR can stand back from implementation to provide the type of oversight that that brings about systemic quality”