On Wednesday November 26th, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Darragh O’Brien TD introduced the Planning and Development Bill 2020 into the Seanad.
The legislation updates Planning and development Act of 2000 to allow :
- Local Authorities to hold virtual meetings to conduct public consultations when making City and County development plans
- Planning and building control processes to continue to work during emergency situations like Covid19
The bill will replace the mandatory requirement on Local Authorities to hold physical public meetings in relation to the development of city and county development plans with a requirement on local authorities to consult with the general public and to invite written submissions. It allows for public meetings to be held but it does not make the holding of such meetings mandatory. It allows Government to make “emergency period” orders during the pandemic which in practice would extend statutory periods applying under the Planning and Development acts and Building Control Acts.