Fast Track Planning Process – Large scale developments – what’s involved

Fast Track Planning Process – large scale developments – what’s involved

Large Scale Developments

These developments comprise of either the development of 100 or more residential units, or the development of student accommodation units which, when combined, contain 200 or more bed spaces.

Planning Process

Rather than submit a planning application to a Local Authority an applicant can submit a planning application directly to An Bord Pleanála (“the Board”). This avoids a scenario where a decision made by a Local Authority could be appealed to the Board, thereby significantly lengthening the planning process.

The fast track process is in place until the 30 October 2019, prior to which the Minister shall review its operation and effectiveness and may extend such period.

Steps to follow

  1. Engage with Local Authority
    An applicant shall consult with a Local Authority in advance of consulting with the Board. A consultation with a Local Authority shall be held within 4 weeks of the date of receipt by the Local Authority of a request by an applicant for a consultation.
  2. Pre-planning application consultation with the Board
    Once an applicant has consulted with a Local Authority an applicant can then make a request to the Board to enter into consultations with the Board. A request to the Board shall include:-

    • A site location plan
    • A brief description of the nature and purpose of the development
    • A draft layout plan
    • Details of the pre-application consultations that have taken place with the Local Authority
    • A copy of the request should be sent to the relevant Local Authority

    The Board shall, within 2 weeks of the date of receipt by the Board of a request for a consultation, either accept or refuse the request.

    Where the request is accepted the Board shall notify the applicant and the appropriate planning authority that the Board has accepted the request and that the Board will convene a consultation between the parties. Within 2 weeks of this notification, a planning authority shall submit to the Board copies of all records of the consultation or consultations held with the prospective applicant together with the planning authority’s opinion on the proposed development.

    The Board shall convene a consultation meeting to take place within 4 weeks of the date of receipt by the Board of a request from an applicant for a consultation.

    Within 3 weeks of the holding of the consultation meeting, the Board shall form an opinion as to whether there is a reasonable basis for an application or require further consideration and amendment in order to constitute a reasonable basis for an application.

  3. Planning Application to the Board
    The planning authority shall, within 8 weeks from its receipt of a copy of the applicant’s application to the Board, prepare and submit a report of its Chief Executive to include:-

    • A summary of the points raised in the submissions or observations duly received by the Board in relation to the application
    • The Chief Executive’s views of the proposed development and whether permission should be granted

    The Board will make a decision within a period of 16 weeks beginning on the day the planning application is lodged with the Board.

For further information on this topic, please contact Brendan Sharkey on 

Brendan Sharkey
Author: Brendan Sharkey