We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. Click OK to use our website.

Case turnaround upped at An Bord Pleanála

18 Mar 2020 / regulation Print

Case turnaround speed upped at An Bord Pleanála

Despite a growing volume of applications, turnaround has upped at An Bord Pleanála, its casework summary review for 2019 shows.

Over two-thirds of normal planning appeals (69%) were disposed of within the 18-week statutory objective period (SOP) during 2019, compared with 39 per cent SOP compliance in 2018.

A 60-70% target range was set in January 2019, and the normal planning appeal disposal rate for December 2019 exceeded this at 82%.

2019 saw a 7% growth in the number of cases heard by An Bord Pleanála from 2,734 in 201, up to 2,938.

Planning appeals took up 2,076 cases or 71% of total intake, a rise of 2% on the previous year.


In 2019, 2,115 appeals were decided, a slight drop on the 2,159 figure.

Of these, 65% related to residential development.

Most cases were heard within an 18-week period.

With the enactment of Strategic Housing Developments (SHD) legislation in July 2017, these type of applications (100+ housing units and 200+ student bed-spaces) now go directly to An Bord Pleanála.


A total of 118 of these were received in 2019, making a cumulative total of 168.

Permission was given in 67 cases with 15 refused, out of 82 valid applications.

These permissions will allow for 16,771 residential units (4,327 houses and 12,444 apartments), 200 shared accommodation bed spaces and 4,331 student bed spaces.


Pre-application consultations, with both the applicant and the relevant planning authority, must also be heard by An Bord Pleanála.

By year-end, 15 alteration requests to previously permitted strategic housing developments had been made to An Bord Pleanála, with nine alteration requests formally disposed last year.

By year-end, 151 valid pre-application consultations were made and 150 pre-application consultations were held.

In the autumn, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy extended the SHD provisions for a further two years to end-December 2021, when they will cease.

Enabling order

The enabling order was signed in December 2019.

Since 2007, 298 Strategic Infrastructure Development applications have been made to An Bord Pleanála, with a 30% increase to 26 in 2019.

A total of 21 decisions were issued including permissions for wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) at Arklow and Clonshaugh, expansion of the Ringsend facility, expansion of Foynes Port, and wind farm go-aheads in Galway and Donegal.

Significant local authority projects which got permission in 2019 include:

  • the Parnell Square Cultural Quarter comprising a new Dublin City Library,
  • the River Suir sustainable transport bridge in Waterford City,
  • the Glenamuck District Road scheme in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown,
  • N5 and N16 road projects in Roscommon and Sligo respectively.

Chair Dave Walsh (small picture) said the concerted effort to clear the case backlog was “a phenomenal performance and demonstrates the commitment, capacity and expertise across the entire organisation to be able to return to acceptable compliance levels.”


He said the challenge will be to maintain this strong performance, while further streamlining processes.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland