The Government has approved a new bill to reform the planning system that is being described as the third-largest bill in the State’s history. The Department of Housing said that the proposed legislation would bring “greater clarity, certainty and consistency” to how planning decisions were made, and would make the system more coherent and user-friendly. The Government says that it will take “a number of weeks” to prepare the Planning and Development Bill 2023 for publication, due to its size. It contains a number of changes from the draft bill that was published earlier this year. These include more detail on statutory mandatory timelines for all consent processes – including An Bord Pleanála (ABP) decisions. The key time periods will range from 18 weeks for appeals of decisions of planning authorities to 48 weeks for strategic infrastructure developments. These will be introduced on a phased basis. The headline period for planning authorities to make decisions will remain at eight weeks, with an additional four weeks allowed for applications that require an environmental assessment.
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