Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR)

OPR Establishment and Role

The OPR was established in April 2019 on foot of recommendations made by the Tribunal of Inquiry into Certain Planning Matters and Payments (the Mahon Tribunal). The OPR is an independent oversight body that was established by the Government to oversee the functioning and policy consistency of Ireland’s planning process to ensure quality outcomes in relation to proper planning and sustainable development.

OPR Functions

The Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018 established the legal basis for the OPR and outlines its role and functions, which include the following:

–          assessment of local authority county/city development plans and local area plans, and regional assembly egional spatial and economic strategies to ensure consistency with relevant regional or national policies;

–          reviews of the systems and procedures used by any planning authority, including An Bord Pleanála, in the performance of their planning functions; and

–          research, training and education programmes that support the progressive development of Ireland’s planning process.

OPR Annual Report

Further information in relation to the work of the OPR is contained in our Annual Report. The 2020 report is available via the following link:

OPR Research, Training and Public Awareness Work

One of the OPR’s primary functions is to drive national research, training, education and public awareness of planning. Our aim is to improve public awareness of the planning process by disseminating information about the benefits of proper planning and sustainable development.

OPR’s Online Resources

There have recently been a number of new online resources to the OPR’s website. One of these additions is our new ‘Public Awareness’ page which provides easy access to a wealth of information relating to planning and hosts: an ‘Introduction to Planning’ page , an online ‘Planning Library’  ,‘Technical Glossary’ and ‘Acronym List’ The planning library hosts a broad range of planning policy guidelines and research publications.

The ‘Introduction to Planning’ page is a newly created subpage that facilitates easy access to a vast array of relevant planning material and provides a simple overview of the planning system in Ireland. The page includes a series of interactive infographics looking at the planning system and the development plan process, animated explainer videos on the role of the OPR, direct links to videos of Eco Eye episodes looking at the theme of sustainable planning, information on the OPR’s planning leaflet series and a schedule of Frequently Asked Questions. This page could be a valuable resource, answering the most common planning questions and providing easy access to all relevant information.

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