On 29 March, 2020, the Minister and the Government, taking account of the considerations under section 251A(5) of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 as amended, made orders which resulted in an extension of time for a range of specified/appropriate periods and timelines under the Planning and Development Act 2000(as amended). This period which was previously extended on the 16th April, was extended for a further period until the 23rd May 2020.
These timeslines have implications for planning decision dates, consultation periods, newspaper notices and site notices. This has the effect that the period from 29th March 2020 to the 23rd May 2020, inclusive, a total period of eight weeks (56 days), may be disregarded when calculating any appropriate period, specified period, or other timelines in the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended)
Statutory planning timelines resumed on Sunday 24th May 2020, and you are advised to review in full the Department of Housing/ Planning & Local Government document 'Frequently Asked Questions Order made under Section 251A of the Planning and Development, Act 2000, as amended, Updated the 23rd May 2020 , which sets out clearly the implications of the recommencement of the planning timelines, this can be accessed using the following link
This document should be reviewed in full, and sets out the details in respect of operation of the planning offices, lodgement of applications,newspaper notices, site notices, submissions, preplanning, decisions and appeals.
A number of queries have been raised with respect to Operation of the Planning Counter, Viewing Applications, Newspaper Notices & Site Notices, and for ease of reference these are set out below, however as stated the FAQ document by the Department should be reviewed in full.
2) When do Planning Offices open to the Public?
From Monday 25th May, all local authority planning offices and the offices of An Bord Pleanála will be open the public during normal office hours. All will operate public planning counters to provide access to documentation in a manner that ensures public health and safe social distancing requirements can be observed by staff and customers. This will include provision for attendance by members of the public at local authority offices by appointment, for an initial period, which will be kept under review.
In respect to the operations of the Planning Counter at Wicklow County Council Offices the following will apply -
The planning department counter at Wicklow County Council will re-open to the public on Monday next (May 25th) but by appointment only.
However, any member of the public wishing to view a current planning file is advised in the first instance to do so online at: https://www.wicklow.ie/Living/Services/Planning/Planning-Applications/Online-Planning
Only in the event that they are not in a position to view the file online should they make a prior request with the Planning Department to view the file at the public counter in County Buildings, Station Road, Wicklow, by calling: 0404 20148 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
When making an appointment customers will be required to complete a Health and Safety questionnaire regarding COVID-19. This information will be retained by Wicklow County Council for a period of 30 days to facilitate contact tracing if necessary but will be destroyed thereafter.
Members of the public accessing the Planning Public Counter will be required to adhere to the measures that have been put in place in line with HSE guidelines to facilitate physical distancing and ensure both public and staff safety
Wicklow County Council wish to thank the public for its co-operation.
Site and Newspaper Notices
13) Should Site Notices be Maintained on Site?
Yes, for planning applications submitted prior to 29th March 2020, site notices must be maintained on site for the unexpired period of the initial five-week consultation period that remains after 23rd May 2020. For planning applications submitted after 29th March 2020 during the period covered by the Section 251A Order, i.e. to 23rd May 2020, site notices must be maintained on site for five-weeks after 23rd May 2020 i.e. until 27th June 2020.
14) What Arrangements Apply to Newspaper Notices?
The two-week period in which to lodge a planning application, following publication of a valid newspaper notice, was extended for the period of the Section 251A Order. Newspaper notices published less than 14 days prior to 29th March 2020, i.e. from 16th March 2020, remain valid until at least one day after 23rd May 2020. This is because the unexpired part of the relevant two-week period remaining on 29th March 2020, i.e. a minimum of 1 day up to a maximum of 13 days, subject to when the newspaper notice was published, will still remain after 23rd May. Newspaper notices published anytime during the period of the Section 251A Order, i.e. from 29th March 2020 to 23rd May 2020 inclusive, will remain valid for two weeks after the expiry of the Order i.e. until Saturday th June 2020.