PLANNING EXISTS to serve the common good and not landowners or property developers, according to Gerry Sheeran, the new president of the Irish Planning Institute (IPI), which represents 700 professional planners.
A senior planner with Limerick County Council, Mr Sheeran pointed to the “history of excessive zoning of land for development” which benefited private individuals but not the community.
He welcomed the new Planning Amendment Bill announced recently by Minister for the Environment John Gormley, saying it would address many of these issues raised by the institute. The IPI is to make submissions on the proposed legislation.
Mr Sheeran said the recession offered “an opportunity to focus not solely on economic growth but on . . . challenges which loom ahead”. In this, planners could lead by putting a more sustainable framework in place.
Future plans needed to be “closely integrated”, with a strong link between national strategies, and local area plans, and decisions on planning applications made in terms of these agreed plans.