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Planning Time Period Adjustments during Covid-19

In the context of the most up-to-date public health advice during this COVID-19 Emergency, the Government has introduced a further suspension of all time periods associated with statutory processes under the Planning and Development Acts.

This means that time periodsspecified for any statutory planning process under these Acts and related planning and building control legislation are disregarded, which means that they are, in effect, extendedfor the period from Sunday 29 March 2020 (date of original Order) to Saturday 9 May 2020 inclusive i.e. 42 days or a total period of six weeks. This period may be further extended by Order of the Minister.

What does this mean for processing planning applications?

The exact calculation of the extended time period will depend on the date a planning application is submitted to the Local Authority and the stage of the process it is at, with further details set out below. 

Planning Applications submitted after Friday 21st February and prior to 29th March 2020

Any planning application that was submitted to a planning authority less than five weeks prior to the date of commencement of the Order, i.e. after Friday 21st February 2020, cannot be decided by the Planning Authority until after Saturday 9th May 2020 (or as further extended). This is to ensure that the five-week period for public consultation is completed after the expiry of the duration of the Order.

Planning Applications Submitted on or after 29th March

Any planning application submitted to a planning authority after 29 March 2020 (the date of commencement of the original Order) cannot be decided by the Planning Authority until the five-week period for public consultation on the application has been completed, and this cannot be until the expiry of the duration of the extended Order (9th May) plus at least five weeks i.e. after Saturday 13th June 2020.

The effect of this is that period for deciding any such applications must be extended by the applicable duration of the extended Order and may be until Saturday 4th July 2020.

Can Planning Applications still be made during the period of the Order?

Yes, planning applications may be posted to the Municipal District Offices or submitted by appointment.

A submission may be made on any planning application lodged with a planning authority less than five weeks prior to the date of commencement of the original Order, i.e. after Friday 21st February 2020 and for the duration of the extended Order. In addition, after the expiry of the extended Order on 9th May 2020, submissions may be made during the remainder of any applicable five-week period that commenced prior to the commencement of the original Order. In the case of all applications made within the duration of the extended Order, submissions may also be made for a further five-week period, to Saturday 13th June 2020. 

Should Site Notices be maintained on site during the period of the Extended Order?

Yes, site notices for all planning applications submitted after 21st February 2020, should be maintained on site during the period covered by the extended Order under Section 251A.

For planning applications submitted prior to 29th March 2020, site notices must be maintained on site for the unexpired period of the initial five-week consultation period that remains after 9th May 2020.

For planning applications submitted after 29th March 2020 during the period covered by the extended Order, site notices must be maintained on site for five-weeks after 9th May 2020 i.e. until 13th June 2020. The additional five-day period between the cessation of Covid-19 public health emergency restrictions on non-essential activity on 4th May 2020 and the cessation of the extended Order under Section 251A on 9th May 2020 is to facilitate an orderly resumption of activity in the planning system.

These dates are subject to review and change/to take account of public health recommendations.

Can I make an appeal to An Bord Pleanála during the period of the Order?

Yes – See http://www.pleanala.ie/ for details associated with the submission of appeals.

The four-week period in which the appeal may be made from the date of the Planning Authority’s decision shall be extended by 42 days or any longer period of duration made by the Minister.

For further details please visit:

Clarification for Operation of Planning System During Current Covid-19

Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 21/04/2020