County council to be examined in planning law review

The Galway County Council is to take part in a major initiative a review of how planning laws and policy are being implemented.

The initiative was announced this week by the Minister for the Environment John Gormley. It will see the appointment of independent planning experts and involve the Galway County Council, along with the Dublin City Council and Cork City Council and the county councils for Carlow, Cork, and Meath.

The review will focus on how existing planning legislation, Government policy and guidelines are being implemented and to determine whether local authorities are acting in a consistent and transparent manner, and whether they have the correct powers and tools to deliver on their responsibilities.

Representations and submissions on various planning issues which have been received from NGOs and members of the public are being used to shape the review.

Such information is also being used to assist in looking at the preparation of and adherence to development plan policies, how these plans take account of national policy and guidance, and how planning applications are assessed in accordance with these policies and with planning legislation generally.

When the reviews are completed, the councils will be asked to examine the issues raised and to provide a detailed response to the Department by mid-July.

Once these reports are received, Minister Gormley will appoint independent planning experts to review the replies, and where specific issues or concerns arise regarding previous practices, to make recommendations to inform the preparation of any necessary actions, policy guidance, and direction.

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