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The Effect of National Level 5 Restrictions on the Planning System

On Thursday 22nd October 2020, the Government, taking into account public health advice, brought into effect National Level 5 restrictions with regard to Covid-19 for a six-week period.

The FAQs from the Department are intended to provide further clarity in relation to questions that might arise in the context of National Level 5 Restrictions and the planning system.  They can be accessed by clicking the link below.


Is there any effect on statutory planning timelines?
No. Statutory planning timelines, including those for planning applications, appeals, judicial review procedures or development plans, remain unaffected. There is no temporary period of suspension in operation, as there previously was for an eight-week period from 29th March to 23rd May 2020, under Section 251A of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended). The Section 251A order mechanism was a ‘once-off’ legislative provision, introduced during the country’s previous lockdown period, that has since expired and may no longer be applied.


Planning Public Counter

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 is open to the public 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:

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 .

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.