IPI National Planning Awards

Dublin County Council takes supreme planning accolade for Poolbeg SDZ plan

-          Awards also for Eirgrid, Monaghan and Fingal County Councils

-          Planning celebrated for “contribution to meeting long term national and local challenges”


Dublin City Council’s plan for a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) on Dublin’s Poolbeg Peninsula was this evening (Thursday 8 November 2018) declared winner of the overall award for excellence in planning in Ireland by the Irish Planning Institute (IPI) at the Institute’s biennial awards gala.

The IPI is the representative body for Irish planners and planners in Ireland. The Awards this year recognise excellence under four headings with one entrant then chosen from across all entrants to receive the overall award.

In selecting the Poolbeg Scheme as overall winner the judges cited its innovative and original approach, the benefit of the project to its wider area, the effective use of consultation and the integration of the planning approach with other disciplines and standards. The judges noted also that the planners had a particularly significant input to this scheme and that the scheme is envisaged to act as a platform for other works / studies.

The Dublin City Council – Poolbeg West SDZ project was nominated in the first instance for a Plan Making Award. The three other category award winners on the night were

·         Eirgrid for its transformational approach to the planning of strategic infrastructure in the Participation and Engagement section

·         Monaghan County Council and Sheridan Woods for their work on a plan for the regeneration of Dublin Street in Monaghan town in the Design section and

·         Fingal County Council and SLR Consulting for their work on a Heritage Properties Review in 2016 in the Planning and Economic Development category.

Tipperary County Council was given a Special President’s award for its work in 2016 to develop a Renewable Energy Strategy 2016 for the County. In addition Cork County Council, Tourism Development Limited and the Heritage Council of Ireland were commended for entries in the Planning and Economic Development, Design and Participation and Engagement categories respectively.

IPI President Joe Corr noted that the awards “highlight the diversity and wide scope of planning activity in Ireland today. The entrants exemplify the scope of planning as a positive discipline. Their work demonstrates how planning contributes to quality of life in urban and rural Ireland and helps all of us meet the challenges we face nationally and locally in managing sustainable growth”.


The Poolbeg West SDZ project proposes an exciting new quarter of Dublin, giving a new identity to this quality brownfield development location close to the existing Docklands development and the city centre. The designation provides for a mixed use development which principally includes residential development, commercial and employment activities including office, hotel, leisure and retail facilities, port related activities and the provision of educational facilities, transport infrastructure, emergency services and community facilities. Dublin City Council rose to the challenge of providing sustainable housing in the area against the background of a difficult political legacy that preceded the Irish Glass Bottle site.  Much-need housing and other development has been comprehensively planned without detracting from the natural landscape and the industrial port heritage of the area.  The panel of judges highlighted that “Dublin City Council have successfully re-orientated a site which to the perception of many appears distant and isolated from the city’s fabric and have given it new identity and purpose and delivering on a key objective of delivering a significant supply of new homes.”

Eirgrid’s six step process for the delivery of grid infrastructure projects from conception to construction and energisation was selected by the judging panel for the Participation and Engagement Category. The judges noted this projects “singular focus on providing a forum for all participants, underpinned by a shared commitment to gather and to document in clear terms, evidence as the context for decision making around the often contentious issue of electricity infrastructure.”

The regeneration of Dublin Street in Monaghan Town as awarded the Design Award. Historically Monaghan Town flourished as a centre for linen and agriculture production, evident today in the town’s four strategic squares connected by main streets including Dublin Street. Dublin Street has suffered in recent times due to the volume and flow of one way traffic, narrow footpaths and declining footfall. Monaghan County Council commissioned a specific regeneration plan to provide strategic guidance and a vision for the future redevelopment of this area. The judges noted how “this plan offers both short and long term contingencies and objectives and considered the plan not just inspiration but also realistic and thus usable.”

Fingal County Council received the Award for Planning and Economic Development. As the local authority with the largest portfolio of heritage properties in Ireland it commissioned a Heritage Review to examine the strategic management and operation performance of these assets. The judges commended this project for its “focus on practical and viable utilisation of the County’s heritage properties, consistent with proper planning and heritage protection obligations.”

The immediate past president of the IPI, Ms Deirdre Fallon selected the Tipperary Renewable Energy Strategy from Tipperary County Council for the President’s Award, noting “its wide scope and insight into collaborative work, led by planners and with internal and external expert involvement.

Current IPI President Joe Corr commented on the Awards “Planning is by its very nature is long term in perspective and yet is often required to be urgent in its actions. All of the work shortlisted and commended shows how collaborative plan led development is central to building quality places where people and families want to live and work. The Irish Planning Awards celebrate this success. As Government prepare to launch the new National Planning Framework, the scope and diversity in the range of projects in this year’s awards celebrates success and excellence of the Irish Planning profession in delivering for current and future generations.”