The Royal Town Planning Institute stressed that an efficient planning service relies on having professional planners in its submission to Government on Planning Applications and Procedures and the Development Management Guidelines 2007.
RTPI Ireland proposed that the Development Management Guidelines be revised to encourage Local Authorities to employ appropriately qualified planners.
Marion Chalmers, Chair of RTPI Ireland, said: “Planning Authorities should be encouraged to employ professional planners. Unlike a number of other professions such as Architect or Solicitor, the title ‘planner’ is not legally protected. RTPI Ireland contends that an efficient, effective and high quality planning service requires appropriately qualified Town Planners. No less important is the need for Local Authorities to employ experienced managers with a planning background at Director of Services Planning level, and we are calling for the Development Management Guidelines to state a preference for experienced professional planners with appropriate management skills and experience when filling senior vacancies.”
RTPI Ireland’s response to the consultation also calls on Government to:
- Address the need for pre-application consultation for development proposals and for Planning Authorities to strive for zero invalidation of planning applications
- Introduce standardised national zoning bands and uses for all development plans and local area plans to provide consistency
- Reintroduce a Grading/ List System for Protected Structures
- Explore how to take minor developments out of the normal planning process requiring planning permission
- Establish a national online planning register and introduce standard planning application forms
- Introduce ‘neighbour notification’ in planning applications, in addition to the current site and newspaper notice processes.
RTPI Ireland's submission can be read here.