An Bord Pleanála

An Bord Pleanála (The Planning Board) is the national planning appeals board. It is an independent entity established by the Government to operate a transparent and impartial planning appeal system.

Anyone applying for planning permission and anyone who made written submissions or observations to the planning authority on a planning application, can appeal a subsequent planning decision to An Bord Pleanála.

The Board addresses planning appeals, other appeals, referrals, local authority infrastructural projects, compulsory acquisition of land (e.g. prior to construction of the Luas tramline in Dublin city or proposals under Dublin's Bus Connects) and certain other matters under the Planning and Development Acts 2000–2011. It is responsible for determining appeals under the Building Control Act 1990; the Local Government (Water Pollution) Acts 1977–1990; and the Air Pollution Act 1987. The Board also provides advice to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage on planning and development policy.

Reaching decisions

To ensure that all of the Board's decisions are fair and impartial, no one person can make decisions about a planning appeal. The requirements for the Board is that three members are involved in a decision and if the case is particularly sensitive or complex, all members are usually involved in the decision-making process.

The Board only make their decision after they have studied all the evidence. This includes submissions from the public and the planning inspector's report and recommendation. In most cases, the decision of the Board follows the recommendation of the planning inspector but this is not always the case. If the Board's decision deviates from the inspector's recommendation, the Board must justify this in their decision order.

Local authority development plans

The Board must make sure that all planning decisions stick to principles of proper planning and sustainable development. If they feel that a planning authority has not taken these principles into sufficient consideration, the Board has the authority to deviate from the provisions of a development plan. The Board tries to strike a balance between environmental and economic considerations when they are determining appeals.

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