WHOEVER is tasked with selecting the new chairman of An Bord Pleanála can expect to be inundated with dusted-off CVs this week ahead of Friday’s deadline to apply for the role.
Incumbent John O’Connor is due to retire in June and an open competition will be held to select his replacement. Given the collapse in demand for planners from the private sector, Around the Block expects some of the sector’s heavy hitters to apply for the role, especially given that many have kept their town-planning sections open in name only, quietly letting all of the staff go while maintaining the illusion that it is still part of their organisation.
Total pay for the post is currently just over €206,000 per annum but that is under review “and may be subject to downward revision prior to appointment”, the booklet for the job states – and there won’t be any overtime. The maximum period of service is seven years.
The board currently receives a public subvention of €12.8m with a further €3.9m expected to come from fee income this year.
Its case load has decreased dramatically with the bursting of the bubble – more than 5,500 cases came before it in 2008 but that fell nearly 50 per cent to 2,900 in 2009 – but it still has to deal with strategic infrastructure applications, such as Metro North and the Dart interconnector in Dublin.