AmCham Reacts to the High Level Guide for Recently Approved Government Planning and Development Bill 2023


Earlier this month Cabinet approved the Planning and Development Bill 2023, which aims to “bring greater clarity, certainty and consistency to how planning decisions are made”. 


The Bill is the third largest Bill in the history of the State and is the culmination of a review by the Office of the Attorney General of the Planning and Development Act 2000, which has been in operation for more than two decades and had become difficult for both the public and practitioners to navigate to its full potential, due to the number of amendments over that time. 


Key reforms in the proposed legislation include: 

  • New ten year Development Plans for Local Authorities 
  • Increased alignment among the tiers of planning 
  • A significant restructuring of An Bord Pleanála with the body to be renamed An Coimisiún Pleanála 
  • Timelines for decision-making by An Coimisiún Pleanála 
  • Reform of planning Judicial Review, including the introduction of an Environmental Legal Cost Scheme 
  • New provisions for Urban Development Zones 

Whilst we currently only have a high-level guide to the Bill, it is promising that action is being taken on some of AmCham’s key asks, however, it remains to be seen whether this action will go far enough.  


It is essential that the planning system can efficiently and effectively cater for Ireland’s infrastructural needs. Certainty of timeframe for the completion of the planning process is crucial for the development of infrastructure and in supporting business growth and subsequent employment creation. Delays in the planning process create a barrier for investment into Ireland, and for the delivery of vital infrastructure projects. While the outcome of the planning process cannot, and should not, be predetermined, certainty of process and timeframe would support investment decisions and infrastructure development to enhance Ireland’s overall attractiveness as a location for FDI.  


In a recent survey of AmCham members 45 percent of respondents said their organisation had made an application for planning permission to the relevant planning authority in the last five years. Of those, only 4 percent waited less than 3 months. 31 percent waited 3-6 months, 42 percent waited 6 months-1 year, 8 percent waited 1-2 years, and 15 percent waited longer than 2 years. Addressing these timeframes is important to ensure that the planning process does not act as an impediment to inward investment. Delays in the planning process can have significant impacts in terms of capital expenditure budgets, delivery timelines, recruitment planning, and could prove a barrier to expansions or investments in Ireland having a central role in global supply chains.  


A guide to the Planning and Development Bill can be read here


Given that the Bill is likely to advance quickly through the legislative process, if you have any queries or concern it is important you contact us as a matter of urgency. If you would like to engage with AmCham on the Planning and Development Bill please contact Ellen McGrath, Public Affairs and Advocacy Manager, at  


You can watch a video on AmCham's reaction to the Bill here

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