The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 (the Act) introduced new streamlined arrangements to enable planning applications for strategic housing developments (SHDs) of 100 housing units or more or student accommodation or shared accommodation developments of 200 bed spaces or more, to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála (the Board) for determination.
The primary purpose of the SHD arrangements is to significantly speed up the planning decision-making process, thereby providing greater certainty for developers in terms of the timeframes within which proposals for such developments can be determined in the planning system, while also fully respecting the statutory requirements for consultation and having regard to observations submitted.
The Act provides that the SHD arrangements apply for an initial period of 3 years, until the end of 2019. Section 4(2)(a) of the Act provides that not later than 30 October 2019, the Minister shall review the operation and effectiveness of the SHD arrangements and lay before both Houses of the Oireachtas a report of the conclusions of the review. Arrangements for public engagement with the review process will be announced as part of the review.
Following the review, section 4(2)(b) of the Act provides that the arrangements may be extended for a further limited period of 2 years, up to the end of 2021 which coincides with the timeframe of Rebuilding Ireland.