President of the Irish Planning Institute (IPI), Dr Conor Norton, has called for renewed urgency in the ongoing transformation of the planning system in Ireland to meet the major challenges in achieving sustainable development and climate action. Speaking in the context of the Housing for All and National Development Plan, Dr Norton highlighted the opportunity to rapidly rebalance the system and deliver a fit for purpose planning system for Ireland.
Speaking at the IPI Annual Planning Conference in Wexford today, Dr Norton said: “Planning faces major challenges in the years ahead and planning and planners will need to be at the forefront of delivering on National and local commitments on climate action and sustainable development. The Irish planning system is undergoing a fundamental transformation as it seeks to meet these challenges. This transformation towards a more plan-led and place-based system is not yet complete, and we must act quickly to find a good balance between national, regional and local-level planning. The plan-led future is the only viable option for us and will come with many benefits for places and communities.”
Dr Norton outlined the key areas that need to be addressed at the conference today, with the Minister of State for Planning and Local Government, Peter Burke TD, department officials and delegates in attendance. Acknowledging the central role of planning in the delivery of housing and other key infrastructural projects, the following areas must be considered:
Dr Norton concluded: “Since its inception the Irish planning system has been hampered by chronic under-resourcing, which was further exacerbated by the Economic Crisis of 2008. Planning has now become much more central to public policy and everyday life, and it is taking on more and more roles and responsibilities in securing the objectives of sustainable development. Despite this, we have not seen the necessary improvements in resourcing and planning specialisms to allow the system to develop and to run effectively and efficiently. We have spoken many times about this problem, but it is now time that it is addressed. We have little time to waste and planners across the private and public sector need to work together and in collaboration with Government to build the system that Ireland deserves and one that can meet the challenges ahead of us.”