Ireland – IPI

Irish Planning Institute (IPI)

ECTP-CEU member since 1985 
Amount of Own Members: 937 
President: Conor Norton 
Delegates: Henk van der Kamp
Contacts: Fitzwilliam House, 6 Fitzwilliam Street Lower, Dublin 2. 
Tel: +353 1 878 8630 
email: ;

Annual IPI reports to ECTP-CEU

Ireland’s projects presented by IPI to the ECTP-CEU European and Regional Planning Awards :

2016 – 11th Edition:
• Wild Atlantic Way
• Dublin City Council – North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme
• South Dublin County Council – South Dublin Spatial Energy Demand Analysis

2014 – 10th Edition:

• Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS)

2012 – 9th Edition:

• Derry-Londonderry – The Peace Bridge – Special Mention

2010 – 8th Edition:

• Dublin – Dolphin Decides – A sustainable Model for Community Regeneration
• Dublin – Phibsborough/Mountjoy Local Area Plan
• Kilkenny – The Kilkenny City & Environs Loughmacask Local Area Plan

2008 – 7th Edition:

• Cork – The Cork Suburban Rail Network: From ‘LUTS’ and ‘CASP’ to ‘SLAPS’

2006 – 6th Edition:

• Adamstown – Adamstown Strategic Development Zone Planning Scheme – Special Mention

Country Factsheet:
Amended ECTP-CEU Study Draft (2012-11-21)
General Country Information
Capital City: Dublin
Population: 4,758,000
Area (km2): 70,273
Population Density: 68 per km2
EU Membership: Ireland joined what is now known as the EU in 1973.

Ireland is currently divided in thirty-one local authorities by The Local Government Reform Act of 2014; these 31 local authorities have competences in planning and local government. The country covers around 83% of the island of Ireland, and is a parliamentary democracy, with a written constitution and a popularly elected president. 

Ireland’s Ministry contacts:
(From Ministry’s website)

Minister’s Office Queries:
•Name: Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.
•Phone: +353 (0)1 888 2000
•Email the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government
•Address: Custom House, Dublin, D01 W6X0.

Planning as a regulated profession in Ireland

The Town Planning Policy is set at a National level, then legislations are applied by local authorities such as cities and counties.

Professional Title:
Titles recognised under the recognition of professional qualifications regulations S.I. 139/2008 are “Town Planner/Spatial Planner” or “Chartered Town Planner”.

EU Database Status:
The profession of Town Planner/Spatial Planner and Chartered Town Planner in Ireland is included in the EU Database of Regulated Professions.

National Regulation:
Legal instrument on regulated professions: S.I. Number 1 of 1991, on professions and professional activities regulated by professional bodies which are recognised in a special form by the State. 

Universities with approved trainings in Ireland
The courses leading to the profession of Town Planner/Spatial Planner are a Third Level Degree in Spatial Planning, from RTPI and IPI accredited planning schools.
Those courses are provided by:
• University College Cork: Master Programme in Planning and Sustainable Development
• Dublin Institute of Technology: School of Spatial Planning
• University College Dublin: School of Architecture Planning and Environmental Policy
Accredited planning courses are assessed in line with the IPI’s education guidelines on an ongoing basis.

Below is an example from “ECTP-CEU Draft Stage 2 Study on the Recognition of Planning Qualifications in Europe” in relation to the specified course.

Master of Regional and Urban Planning, University College Dublin:
In this example it is a two year course with a heavy emphasis on Planning Techniques and less on the Natural Environment. Other courses will be slightly different in their emphasis.

Town Planning Press of Ireland

• Irish Planning Institute Publications
• Construction and Property News
• Law Society of Ireland
• Architecture Ireland  

National regulation:


The main documentation about planning and territorial decisions lies in two fundamental documents:
• Development Plans
• National Spatial Strategy

DEVELOPMENT PLANS (serve as a strategic document):
• Those plans set out the planning policies for local authorities for a period of 6 years. Based on maps and written rules, they bind the local authority to objectives, like particular use of land, development, renewal or improvements on particular areas.

They integrate the wider policy context of planning for the purpose of anticipating future needs, protecting environment and heritage. The strategic objectives of these plans is based on the implementation of national and regional policies and guidelines.

• It is a twenty-year coherent national planning framework (2002-2020), to achieve a better balance of social, economic and physical development across the Ireland Republic. The purposes are to prevent areas from urban sprawl and rural areas from fragmentation, by creating gateways and hubs to concentrate development in larger towns. It tends to establish a multi-central structure, and improve the cross-border cooperation with Northern Ireland. Work is currently underway on its successor to be entitled the National Planning Framework).


• Local Authorities (county councils, city councils): competent in housing, planning, roads, environmental protection, and local government functions.
• 3 Regional Assemblies: The aim of the assemblies is to co-ordinate, promote or support strategic planning and sustainable development and promote effectiveness in local government and public services. Their main function will be to draw up regional spatial and economic strategies. These will replace the current regional planning guidelines and will be drawn up in conjunction with the various enterprise and economic development agencies.

Special Aspect:
“An Bord Pleanála” (The Irish Planning Appeals Board) is an independent and judicial body that decides on appeal from planning decisions made by local authorities in Ireland. It is unique in being a third party appeals system where any party can appeal a decision of a county or city council.  


Information, consultation and dialogue
Thanks to the “Planning Act” of 2000 and its various amendments since then, the public participation in the planning process has been widened. There is now a statutory obligation on the planning authority to inform its citizens that a draft plan is being prepared, in order to allow comments and submissions. Individuals, community groups or associations can make submissions during the development plan process as well as on individual planning applications.
An local government official referred to as the ”Chief Executive” of a city or county, takes into account all observations and objections made in relation to a draft plan (before the “Planning Act” this was not mandatory).


From : Planning and Development Act 2000, Part I, Section 2
“An act to revise and consolidate the law relating to planning and development by repealing and re-enacting with amendments the Local Government (planning and development) Acts, 1963 to 1999; to provide, in the interest of the common good, for proper planning and sustainable development including the provision of housing; to provide for the licensing of events and control of funfairs; to amend the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992, the Roads Act, 1993, the Waste Management Act, 1996, and certain others enactments; and to provide for matters connected therewith.” Various amendments have been made of the 2000 Act since its inception mainly to introduce the concept of “Strategic Infrastructure Development” and to enact various European legislation.


IPI Irish Planning Institute
DoT Department of the Taoiseach
EC European Commission, Regulated Profession Database
ISB Irish Statute Book
ISS Irish Spatial Strategy
HPCLG Housing Planning Community and Local Government
IRO The Irish Region Office
CI Citizens Information
DIT Dublin Institute of Technology
UCD University College of Dublin
UCC University College Cork