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 for determination.
The SHD arrangements do not have specific provisions in relation to childcare needs and facilities.
However, planning authorities, including An Bord Pleanála, have statutory responsibility for determining planning applications in accordance with the statutory regulations. With regard to childcare provision, the Guidelines for Planning Authorities relating to Childcare Facilities, issued by my Department under section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, provide a framework to guide both local authorities, and developers and childcare providers in formulating and considering development proposals. The Guidelines are intended to ensure a consistency of approach throughout the country to the treatment of applications in respect to the land use planning aspects of childcare provision, for relevant planning applications.