11 April 2020
By Mary Bermingham
Government actions being taken via the planning laws will support businesses, the public health response, and the planning system itself for the period of the Covid-19 crisis. This package of measures will enable temporary health facilities, removes the requirement for planning to change from a restaurant to a takeaway establishment, and pauses (as necessary) various statutory periods of various Planning and Building Control Acts.
Fine Gael Senator, Tim Lombard, said: “The measures announced by my colleague Minister Eoghan Murphy will ensure that the planning system can work as effectively as possible to meet the needs of the current emergency.
“The measures remove planning barriers for temporary medical facilities as to enable swift, adequate development of necessary facilities – such as isolation units – during the period of emergency.
“It also allows hard hit restaurants to adapt and provide takeaway services, protecting the food supply chain, without the need for planning consent, also for the period of the emergency.
“Regarding the general planning systems, every effort is being made to ensure that these systems can continue to operate. Many of the systems including can be accessed online, and statutory periods applying under various Planning and Building Control Acts will be paused – in much the same way as what applies in normal circumstances over the Christmas period when public offices are closed.
“Minister Murphy has confirmed that the situation will be kept under constant review as the Covid crisis evolves and that any additional issues that arise will be reviewed in consultation with planning authorities and health officials.”