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Greater investment needed in planning system, say Irish planners

With less than two weeks to go until the Irish general election, Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Ireland has joined up with the Irish Planning Institute (IPI) to publish its key ‘asks’ for the next Irish government.

Among the commitments which the two organisations are seeking is a pledge to strengthen and adequately resource planning departments in local authorities so that planners can be equipped with the skills they need to deliver high quality services.

Both RTPI Ireland and the IPI believe that an adequately resourced planning service is vital if Ireland is to achieve zero carbon and climate change targets, build more housing and sustainable communities, and promote compact growth.

The two organisations are also urging the new government to

  • Continue to deliver the National Planning Framework and commit to funding the National Development Plan.
  • Commit to a more proactive role in tackling homelessness and increase the number of quality new homes built.
  • Continue to invest in the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) to enable better plan-making, improved oversight and valuable research.
  • Establish statutory Chief Planner roles in each local authority.
  • Commit to making Ireland a low carbon country.
  • Commit to establishing a Register of Planners for professionally qualified planners operating in Ireland who are members of a professional planning institute.

RTPI Ireland Chair Aidan Culhane welcomed the collaboration between the two Institutes.

He said: “I urge the political parties and future Government to support the ambitions of our manifesto which sets out a route map to meet the challenges the country faces. Planning has an important role in supporting this but it will rely upon having robust, long-term plans in place to deliver the step change we need and providing planners with the right tools and resources to deliver these effectively.”

Irish Planning Institute President Dr Conor Norton said: “Members of the IPI work right across the planning system – from central government to local authorities, in planning consultancies and for developers. As a profession, we have a major role to play in delivering on many of the topics that feature so prominently in election debate. We are calling on all political parties seeking to enter government to commit to our proposals as outlined in our manifesto.”

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