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The Sunday Times 27.11.2016. Reproduced here with kind permission of The Sunday Times newspaper.


Two things exercised my brain this week, both of which reminded me of a late, lamented magician. The first is the government’s Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Bill 2016. This is the bill that will send planning applications for 100 or more residential homes directly to An Bord Pleanala. As I have said before, this will not be the panacea for a perceived problem, mostly because the problemdoes not exist. In 2015, 985 appeals in relation to residential developments were made to An Bord Pleanala, and about 75% of judgments confirmed the local authority’s decision. Indeed, 82% of all priority appeals to An Bord Pleanala were “disposed of” within 18 weeks.