The preparation of new development management guidelines by my Department is at an advanced stage. These guidelines are intended to give advice to planning authorities, planning practitioners and the general public on various areas of planning control and development management and will replace the 1982 development control advice and guidelines.
These guidelines include substantial guidance to planning authorities on implementing section 247 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 relating to pre-planning consultations. Under that section, the planning authority is required to keep a written record of pre-consultation meetings, and to keep a copy of that record with the documents relating to any subsequent planning application. The guidelines will also address the issue of ensuring public access to planning application files.
As I anticipate that the draft development management guidelines will be published reasonably soon, I do not propose to issue a circular to local authorities regarding pre-planning consultations.