Irish Planning Institute warns reduction of local authority planners will cause planning delays and hinder economic recovery
The Irish Planning Institute has warned that a drop in the number of local authority planners will cause planning delays and hinder economic recovery.
The number of planners in local authorities has dropped by 32pc since 2006, according to the organisation.
Some 415 planners are currently employed by local authorities whereas 607 were working with local authorities in 2006.
Non-planners outnumber planners in the State's local authority planning departments.
Mary Hughes, President of the Irish Planning Institute said: “Ireland is now the fastest-growing economy in Europe and this growth is evident in the increase in planning applications nationally.”
“There are more non-planners than there are professional planners in our planning departments today.”
"The Irish Planning Institute is therefore calling on local authorities and Government to re-examine the structure of their planning departments and to ensure a full complement of professional planners is in place. It is only by doing this that public confidence in the planning system will be assured."
Paudie Coffey TD, Minister for Housing, Planning and Coordination of the Construction 2020 Strategy, said: "We are moving forward beyond the economic crisis management ethos of the past few years into a careful rebuilding of capacity, which needs to allow for efficient and effective resourcing."
He said good planning means “listening to local communities and focusing on what planning does best.”
“Building great quality places, both urban and rural that people enjoy living in, working in and enjoying leisure time."
The Irish Planning Institute said today that recruitment of planners need to be an immediate priority.
Seán O'Leary, Executive Director of the Irish Planning Institute, said planning must be focused on sustainable community life.
“Our bottom line must always be focused on the common good and on developing sustainable communities where the focus is on maximum quality of life and of living."
"We need to ensure coherent and joined-up planning in building a competitive economy, but also in ensuring our environment is protected and that we build strong communities. We need to ensure that planners are included as key partners in decisions being made by local government and other partners.”