The planning system in Ireland is not a fair system and is deeply flawed .
Planning Applications are decided on by a tiny number of people working in Local Authorities and An Bord Pleanala .
At Local Authority level , just two civil servants called planning officers can sign off on a planning application . There could be a third person in the form of a manager involved but I'm not certain about this . But thats still only 3 people who can grant planning permission to a property developer for something that may have devastating consequences on peoples communities .
At An Bord Pleanala level it gets even more interesting . When someone lodges an appeal against the decision of their Local Authority , the case is assigned to one
civil servant at an Bord Pleanala called an inspector . This inspector examines the case and issues a recommendation to the Bord Members as to whether permission be granted or refused . The inspector's recommendation carries a lot of weight and most of the time is carried by the Board members . ... and it gets even more interesting because just 3 Board members can decide on a case and some of those may not even have any planning experience at all . Impartiality
Developers usually hire Planning Consultants to submit their case to both the Local Authority and An Bord Pleanala .
Quite often , these Planning Consultants may have worked previously with the planning officers examining the case . I was involved in a case where the developer's planning consultant had worked in An Bord Pleanala for 20 years as a planning inspector and had worked with both the inspector examing the case and one of the Board members . His planning appeal was subsequently upheld . Whether Bias came into play or not is anyone's guess but from an outsider lookiing in who doesn't know anyone involved in the decision making process , would my views be given the same amount of consideration as this man ??
Indeed , The very first stage in a planning application usually involves the developers planning consultant meeting with planning officials prior to lodging an application , from an outsiders point of view , this is already a head start , meeting and greeting the planning officials who will later decide on his application . Solution
Elected representatives Must
be given a bigger role to play in the decision making process . After all , they are the ones who have been elected by the people to represent the community . Such a system would ensure that proper planning is adhered to .
From my own experience with the system and from talking to others , ordinary people are losing faith in the decision making process and without peoples faith in the process , the system has failed . email@example.com