The planning framework is comprised of both primary and secondary legislation, i.e. Acts and Regulations. The framework is set out in the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2018 and the detail is prescribed in the Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2020.
The foundations for the current planning code is the Planning and Development Act 2000. This Act consolidated planning legislation from 1963 to 1999 and documented much of what had grown up in custom and practice during that time, clarifying and simplifying the overall process into one self-contained piece of legislation. The 2000 Act forms the basis for the Irish planning code, setting out the detail of regional planning guidelines, development plans and local area plans. Amongst other things, it provides the statutory basis for protecting our natural and architectural heritage, the carrying out of Environmental Impact Assessments and the provision of social and affordable housing.
The principal regulations underpinning the Planning and Development Acts 2000-2018 are the Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2020. They also consolidate all previous Regulations made under the 2000 Act and replace the Local Government (Planning and Development) Regulations 1994-2000. They provide details of various processes and procedures that make up the planning code. Some significant amendments have been made to these regulations. However, the changes made relate in the main to clarifying and simplifying the planning process and procedures involved. Among the provisions made by the Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2020 are the classes of exempted development, the specific steps required when making an application to a planning authority or an appeal to An Bord Pleanála, and the process which must be followed by local and state authorities when undertaking certain types of development.
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