The Planning and Development Act, 2000

The basic starting point for the modern planning code is The Planning and Development Act, 2000. This Act consolidated all planning legislation from 1963 to 1999 and codified much of what had grown up in custom and practice during that time, clarifying and simplifying the overall process into one self-contained piece of legislation. The Act has been amended a number of times since 2000.

The 2000 Act remains the basis for the Irish planning code, setting out the detail of regional planning guidelines, development plans and local area plans as well as the basic framework of the development management and consent system. Among other things, it provides the statutory basis for protecting our natural and architectural heritage and the carrying out of Environmental Impact Assessment and Appropriate Assessment. 

Development is subject to development control under the Planning Acts, and requires permission from planning authorities or An Bord Pleanála before being carried out. There are, however, certain classes of development that are exempt from the requirement to obtain planning permission, mainly for the reason of their size, nature or limited effect on surroundings, or because the development is authorised under another enactment. Refer to Section 4(4) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 and Regulation 9 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 for more information.  In most cases ‘exempted development’ loses its exempted status if an appropriate assessment or environmental impact assessment is required. 

Under planning legislation, it is mandatory for Development Plans to include objectives for the conservation and protection of the environment including, in particular, the archaeological and natural heritage and the conservation and protection of European sites and any other sites which may be prescribed. 

Read more about the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) on the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government website here.

Last updated: 21/02/2020