In early October we previewed an upcoming planning bill, The Planning and Development Bill 2023.

The new bill proposing major changes to planning and development systems in Ireland has now been published. The bill was published by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien, who described it as the “cornerstone for Irish planning for the coming decades”.

The bill hopes to improve consistency and alignment throughout all tiers of planning, including the use of certain materials and occasions that require a particular planning application. It also hopes to introduce “significant restructuring and resourcing” of An Bord Pleanála, – which will be renamed An Coimisiún Pleanála.

New timeline measures make up part of the restructures, where applications will range from 18 weeks for appeals to 48 weeks for more complex issues. The new bill also includes an “obligation” for local authorities to draft Development Plans for an area, which must be reviewed every eight years.

It is hoped the development plans will lead to an integrated strategy for planning and sustainable development of areas, including future policies and objectives.

It proposes to remove the ‘application for leave’ stage of the judicial review process, to reduce time spent in court and legal costs, while it also limits the ability of applicants to bring amended grounds beyond those originally filed in their applications.

The new bill also requires all judicial review applicants to have “exhausted any available appeal procedures or any other administrative remedy available in respect of the decision or act concerned”.

Under the bill, residents’ associations can take judicial review cases if:

  • They have a constitution,
  • They take a vote of their members on whether to go ahead with a judicial review,
  • Two-thirds of those voting agree to proceed with the judicial review,
  • The names and addresses of those in favour of the judicial reviews are filed with the application.

Speaking on the publication of the Bill, Minister O’Brien remarked, “I am delighted that, after a rigorous process of legal review, stakeholder engagement and scrutiny by the Oireachtas, we publish the Planning and Development Bill 2023. This Bill is momentous not only in its size but in its significance to nearly every aspect of people’s lives, from infrastructure to tackling the climate transition.

“This Bill impacts so many areas from housing to roads, from renewable energy to environmental and architectural conservation, it is critical that everyone works together to ensure this cornerstone legislation proceeds through the Houses of Oireachtas so it can underpin Ireland’s continued growth and prosperity for the coming decades.”


NB – This is a guide for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have an issue requiring legal advice, please contact any of the team at Nolan Farrell & Goff LLP, whose numbers can be found on our website, or email