Planning applications are to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála for major housing developments in order to accelerate delivery of housing proposals. The arrangements draw on procedures already in place for cases received by An Bord Pleanála for Strategic Infrastructure Development proposals.

The Heads of Bill relating to strategic housing developments went to the Cabinet on 27th September, 2016 and legislation was enacted on December 23rd 2016. The associated Regulations are expected to be published in mid-2017 with the legislation taking effect for three years to 2019 with a possible further extension to 2021.

Direct applications can be made under the new legislation for developments comprising 100 or more houses or 200 bed spaces for student accommodation which may include a mixture of other uses subject to certain limitations.

Proposed developments must be on land zoned solely for residential use or for a mixture of residential and other uses (where Part V provisions apply) and may include lands in a Strategic Development Zone. 

In addition to consultation with the relevant planning authority, a pre-application consultation with An Bord Pleanála is also a requirement for strategic housing developments prior to proceeding to application stage.

An Bord Pleanála is currently in the process of preparing guidance and advice to assist in the practical application of this legislation, which will be finalised following the publication of the Regulations and commencement of the legislation.

Further information for applicants and other parties will be published at in the coming weeks.

Note that the application fees will be €130 per unit (€130 per 2 bed spaces student accommodation). A breakdown is attached.