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Planning Functions during the Covid-19 Crisis

Attached you will find a letter from Property Industry Ireland to the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government in relation to Planning Functions during the Covid-19 Crisis, including the proposals in the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020 published on 24 March. Our recommendations in summary are:

1. In our view, the key issue is one of administration – how to make application and appeal documentation publicly accessible during this period. We set out proposals for how this can be achieved electronically as recommended in Rebuilding Ireland 2016, and therefore enable the planning system to continue to operate albeit with some flexibility on decision deadlines
2. Allow a two-week period post-lodgment to facilitate validation and uploading of documentation to the planning authority/ Board website
3. All planning authorities and An Bord Pleanála should remain open for business during this period and continue to accept planning applications and decide on planning applications as it is uncertain how long this crisis will last. There should be clear communication to the industry about these new working arrangements. Planning authorities and An Bord Pleanála should also make it clear what method is acceptable for the payment of fees online.

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