spatial planning rep nofdp by dominic.cecilia


									The entire report consists of the following parts

   -   The Spatial Planning System of The Netherlands
   -   The Spatial Planning System of Germany
   -   The Spatial Planning System of Belgium
   -   The Spatial Planning System of England
   -   The Spatial Planning System of France
   -   The Spatial Planning System of Ireland
   -   The Spatial Planning System of Luxemburg
   -   Comparison, Analysis and Conclusions

  The nofdp Project is embedded in the INTERREG III B
  Programme, an initiative of the European Commission
  aiming at the promotion of interregional cooperation
  within Europe.
This study has been carried out under the auspices of the nofdp Project. The
abbreviation nofdp stands for nature-oriented flood damage prevention and is
part of the INTERREG III B Programme. No part of this publication may be
reproduced in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including
photocopying, recording or by any information storage retrieval system, without
the permission in writing from the copyright holder. For reproduction please
contact the nofdp project management (TU Darmstadt, sekretariat@ihwb.tu-

 This report was prepared by Royal Haskoning
 – division spatial development of Haskoning
 Nederland BV
1.        The Spatial Planning System of Ireland

                                     IRE in the co-operation area of NWE, Royal Haskoning

1.1       General information                                                                       1

1.2       Description of the Spatial Planning System of Ireland                                     2

1.3       Scheme: spatial planning, water management, ecology                                       4

      1.3.1      Spatial Planning
      1.3.2      The National Spatial Strategy
      1.3.3      Environmental Assessment
      1.3.4      Water Management
      1.3.5      Water Legislation
      1.3.6      Ecology

1.4       Details of the six levels of the planning instruments: legislation, policy
          and other planning instruments                                                           13

      1.4.1      European level
      1.4.2      National level
      1.4.3      Regional / Municipality / Project level

Literature and sources                                                                             21

                                                                                            RH 9M9288 7/2006

Figure 1   IRE in the co-operation area of NWE, Royal Haskoning, p. 1
Figure 2   Laws, policies and other planning instruments in water management, spatial planning
           and ecology, Land Use Consultant & Royal Haskoning, p. 5


Table 1    The competency regarding spatial planning of various levels of government, ISoCaRP,
           p. 3
Table 2    Policy, legislation and other planning instruments on European level, Land Use
           Consultant & Royal Haskoning, p. 13-14
Table 3    Policy, legislation and other planning instruments on national level, Land Use
           Consultant & Royal Haskoning, p. 15-19
Table 4    Policy, legislation and other planning instruments on regional, municipal and project
           level, Land Use Consultant & Royal Haskoning, p. 19-20

                                                                                RH 9M9288 7/2006
Final report

1.     The Spatial Planning System of Ireland

                                   Figure 1: UK in the co-operation area of NWE, Royal Haskoning

1.1    General Information

Located on the western fringe of Europe, the island of Ireland has been politically and
administratively divided into two parts since the ratification of the Anglo-Irish treaty in

From 1801 to 1922, Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Britain and Ireland. After
the War of Independence (1919-1921), representatives of the British Government and the
Irish rebels negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty under which the Independent Irish Free State
was established.

Under the Government of Ireland Act (1920), six counties in the north-east of Ireland were
defined as ‘Northern Ireland’. Northern Ireland contains six of the nine counties of the
ancient province of Ulster. These six counties chose to remain part of the United Kingdom
under the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The rest of Ireland was defined as ‘Southern Ireland’.

In 1948, Southern Ireland officially became a Republic, after the Constitution of Ireland
came into force in 1937.

This report concerns the planning system of this Republic, the Republic of Ireland, or Éire.
Information on the planning system in Northern Ireland can be found in the United
Kingdom report.

The Republic of Ireland

With an area of 70.280 km² (80% of the island of Ireland), the Republic has a population of
4.235 million (4/2006) of which approximately 1.5 million live in the Greater Dublin Area
(2002 Census).
The Republic of Ireland is a parliamentary democracy and is characterised by a relatively
strong centralised system of governance. The National Parliament (in the Irish language,
Oireachtas) consists of the President and two Houses: a House of Representatives (Dáil
Éireann) and a Senate (Seanad Éireann).

                                                                                 RH 9M9288 7/2006 1/22
The Head of the Irish Government (The Taoiseach) is appointed by the President on the
nomination of the House of Representatives (

Local government in Ireland consists of a number of local and regional authorities at the
three following levels:

      At county/city level: 29 County Councils, 5 City Councils, 5 Borough Councils and 75
      Town Councils
      At regional level: 8 Regional Authorities (Border, Dublin, Mid East, Midland, Mid
      West, South East, South West and West) co-ordinate some of the county/city and
      sub-county activities; they play a monitoring role in relation to the use of EU
      Structural Funds;
      Two regional authorities, known as Regional Assemblies (Border, Midland &
      Western, and Southern & Eastern) were established in July 1999 under new
      structures for regionalisation. They promote co-ordination of the provision of public
      services in their areas, manage new regional operational programmes in the next
      Community Support Framework (CSF) and monitoring the general impact of all EU
      programmes of assistance under the CSF.

Local Authorities are multi-purpose bodies who are responsible for an extensive range of
services. These are typically broken down into eight broad categories:

      Water Supply and Sewerage
      Development Incentives and Controls
      Environmental Protection including rivers, lakes, air and noise
      Recreation Facilities and Amenities
      Agriculture, Education, Health and Welfare

In addition to the functions outlined above, a fundamental role of democratically elected
local government is representation of local communities, voicing local concerns and
responding to local needs.

1.2    Description of the Spatial Planning System of Ireland

Ireland's planning system was introduced on the 1 October 1964, when the Local
Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1963 came into effect.

The statutory planning system in Ireland was initially developed from the UK model, and
the similarities far outweigh the differences. It is based on future land allocation through
development plans together with regulation of development through a development control
system involving applications for planning permission, powers of enforcement and rights of

Several factors have had a key influence over the large body of planning regulations and
legislation in Ireland since the 1963 Act. These include the expansion of the statutory
development control system to meet the demands arising from economic growth, rising
public concern in the area of environmental control, a desire on the part of the public for a
statutory and independent planning appeals system, and a growing European dimension
arising from the Republic’s membership of the European Union (

                                                                        RH 9M9288 7/2006 2/22
Ireland is unique among European countries in that it has an independent third party
planning appeals system which is operated by An Bord Pleanála (the Planning Appeals

Responsibility for operating the planning system in Ireland rests with local government.
This consists of 88 local planning authorities (29 County Councils, 5 County Borough
Corporations, 5 Borough Corporations and 49 Town Councils for whom County Councils
undertake work on an agency basis, particularly in relation to development plan
preparation). The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government is the
national authority responsible for determining physical planning and land use policy

The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government is responsible for
planning legislation. The main features of this role are:

     making development plans;
     the need for planning permission;
     exempted development;
     appeals against planning decisions; and
     planning enforcement.

The following table shows the competency of the various levels of government:

  Level                          Decision making

  Central Government             Legal definitions of development by statutory regulations
                                 Policy directives to local authorities and the Planning Appeals Board
                                 Policy statement on planning
                                 Creation of the National Spatial Strategy

  Planning Appeals Board         An independent quasi-judicial body which determines all planning appeals and
                                 what constitutes development or exempted development.

  Regional Authorities           Have an administrative and monitoring role and focus principally on the
                                 coordination of the activities of local and other public authorities
                                 At present, there is no regional spatial planning policy at the regional level

  Municipal council (Local       Preparation of statutory development plans.
  Planning Authority)            Development control.
                                 Strategic and detailed proposals for use of land.
                                 Are responsible for the planning and development of their own administrative

 Table 1: The competency regarding spatial planning of various levels of government, ISoCaRP

There are also a number of bodies which play a key role in the administration and
monitoring of planning, water and ecology plans, policies and programmes. These include
the following:

     The Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources has
     responsibility for the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors and regulates,
     protects and develops the Marine and Natural Resources of Ireland. This includes
     Coastal Zone Management.

                                                                                               RH 9M9288 7/2006 3/22
      The National Parks and Wildlife Service is part of the Department of the
      Environment, Heritage & Local Government (DoEHLG) and manages the Irish
      State’s nature conservation responsibilities under National and European Law.

      The Irish Regions Office was established with support of the DoEHLG in 2000 as a
      Brussels based resource for the Irish members of the Committee of the Regions.

      The Environmental Protection Agency is an independent public body established
      under the Environmental Protection Agency Act (1992). It has a wide range of
      functions to protect the environment.

      The Office of Public Works is the Irish Government’s principal engineering agency
      as is responsible for, amongst other things, the arterial drainage and flood relief

      En Taisce (The National Trust) is a Prescribed Body under the Planning Acts and
      the only one which is independent of the State. Local Authorities are obliged to
      consult An Taisce on a vast array of development proposals.

These agencies and their roles within the planning system are discussed in more detail
below under the relevant policy areas.

1.3    Scheme: spatial planning, water management and ecology

The following table shows the most relevant laws, policies and other planning instruments
at six levels, starting at Europe and going down to the local level. The three coloured
columns show the fields of spatial planning, water management and ecology. The main
focus will be the column of spatial planning. Water management and ecology are added
components related to spatial planning.

                                                                     RH 9M9288 7/2006 4/22
LEVEL WATER MANAGEMENT                                 SPATIAL PLANNING                       R       ECOLOGY

               POLICY                                   POLICY                                      POLICY
               ------                                   European Spatial Development                Natura 2000

               LAW                                      Perspective (ESDP)                          LAW
               Urban Wastewater treatment, Water        European Spatial Planning                   The Birds Directive 79/409/EEC
               Framework Directive 92/43/EEC (EU-       Observation Network (ESPON)                 The Habitats & Species Directive
               WFD),                                    LAW                                         92/43/EEC
               OTHER PLANNING INSTRUMENTS               ------                                      OTHER PLANNING INSTRUMENTS
               EU Action Programme on flood risk        OTHER PLANNING INSTRUMENTS                  The BERN Convention
               management                               ------
               Trans-European Networks (TEN)

               POLICY                                   POLICY                                       POLICY
               -------                                  National Spatial Strategy,                   Environmental Action Programme

               LAW                                      Development Control Advice and               (EAP), National Climate Change
N              Coastal Protection Act (1963), Water     Guidelines                                   Strategy
               Service Bill (2003), Local               LAW                                          LAW
               Government (Sanitary Services)           Planning & Development Act (2000),           The Wildlife Act (1976), The Wildlife
               Acts (1878-2001), The Arterial           Planning & Development                       (Amendment) Act (2000), The
               Drainage Amendment Act (1995)            Regulations (2001), Planning &               European Union (Natural Habitats)
               OTHER PLANNING INSTRUMENTS               Development (Amendment) Act                  Directive (1997), The Flora
               National Water Study (2000), The         (2002), Proposed Planning &                  (Protection) Order (1999), The
               Water Services Investment                Development Regulations                      Whale Fisheries Act (1997), The
               Programme (2004-2006), Rural             (2004/2005), Planning &                      National Parks Bill (Under
               Water Strategic Plan (2003),             Development (Strategic                       Consideration)
               National Water Conservation              Infrastructure) Bill (2006).                 OTHER PLANNING INSTRUMENTS
               Programme (2003),                        OTHER PLANNING INSTRUMENTS                   Green 2000 Advisory Group, A
               National Urban Waste Water Study         National Development Plan,                   Government of Renewal, Nature
               (2005),                                  Community Support Framework,                 Reserves, National Biodiversity
               National Drinking Water Monitoring       Urban Development Plans (1980s)              Plan (2002, interim Review 2005)
               Programme.                               Strategic Development Zones                  Environment Protection Agency
                                                                                                     (EPA), National Heritage Plan,
                                                                                                     Species Action Plans (SAPs)

               POLICY                                   POLICY                                      POLICY
               ------                                   Regional Planning Guidelines                ------
               LAW                                      LAW                                         LAW
               ------                                   Regional Authorities Establishment          ------
               OTHER PLANNING INSTRUMENTS               Order (1993)                                OTHER PLANNING INSTRUMENTS
                                                        OTHER PLANNING INSTRUMENTS
               ------                                                                               ------
                                                        Regional Economic Strategies
                                                        Regional Social Strategies
                                                        Regional Reports

               POLICY                                   POLICY                                      POLICY
               ------                                   Local Government Regulations,               ------

               LAW                                      Local Government Scheme (2004)              LAW
               ------                                   Operational Programme for Local             ------
               OTHER PLANNING INSTRUMENTS               Urban and Rural Development Local           OTHER PLANNING INSTRUMENTS
                                                        Government General Policy                   Specific Managment Plan, Local
               ------                                   Directive (1982 and 1988)                   Development Plan, Local
                                                        LAW                                         Biodiversity Plans
                                                        Local Government Act (2003)
                                                        OTHER PLANNING INSTRUMENTS
                                                        Local Development Plan, Strategic
                                                        Development Zones, Local Area
                                                        Plans, Action Area Plans,
                                                        City/County Development Boards
                                                        (CDBs), Strategic Policy Comitees

               POLICY                                   POLICY                                      POLICY
               ------                                   ------                                      ------

               LAW                                      LAW                                         LAW
               ------                                   ------                                      ------
               Shannon, Western, South Western,                                                     Wicklow Mountains National Park
               Eastern, and South Eastern River                                                     Management Plan
               Basin Management Projects                                                            Killarney National Park Management
               (                                                                  Plan (

               The Irish Sea Pilot Project

The symbol ----- signifies that it does not yet exist.
Comment: the names of the policies, laws and other planning instruments are in the original English language

Figure 2: Laws, policies and other planning instruments in water management, spatial planning and ecology, Royal Haskoning

                                                                                                RH 9M9288 7/2006 5/22
1.3.1      Spatial Planning

The implementation of spatial planning and development rests with local authorities. The
local authorities are also responsible for the preparation of statutory development plans
and for giving consent for development. Above the local authority development plan level
the National Spatial Strategy provides a broad planning framework.

In 1994, eight Regional Authorities (NUTS III level) were established with the responsibility
of promoting the co-ordination of public service provision and monitoring the delivery of EU
Structural Fund assistance in the regions. The Regional Authorities have specific
responsibility for:

        Reviewing the development plans of local authorities in their region and, where
        relevant, the development plans of local authorities in adjoining regions;
        Preparing Regional Planning Guidelines and Regional Economic and Social
        Promoting cooperation, joint actions, arrangements and consultation among local
        authorities and other public bodies.

The development plan reviews are covered in a regional report along with a review of the
overall development requirements of the region and a review of the provision of public
services in, or relating to, or affecting the region. The regional reports are prepared by
each regional authority every five years under the Regional Authorities Establishment
Order (1993).

An Operational Committee and an EU Operational Committee assist the Regional
Authorities in undertaking their functions (

The regionalisation arrangements negotiated by the Irish Government in the context of
Agenda 2000 resulted in the designation of Ireland into two Regions for EU Structural
Funds purposes (NUTS II level): The Border Midland & Western Region, which had
Objective 1 status for the full period to 2006; and the Southern and Eastern Region, which
has a phasing out regime for Objective 1 until the end of 2005.

As a result of this designation, two new Regional Assemblies were established in 1999.
The main responsibilities of the Assemblies are:

        To manage the Regional Operations Programmes under the National Development
        To monitor the general impact of all EU programmes under the National
        Development Plan/Community Support Framework
        To promote coordination in the provision of public services in the Assembly areas.

Local Government Reform
In the last ten years the planning system in Ireland has been changing into a more open
and participatory planning system for all bodies included. A number of initiatives are
currently being undertaken by local authorities in support of better customer service and
increased efficiency in the use of resources.
A key objective of the Programme for Local Government Renewal is closer partnership
between local authorities, local development bodies and the State agencies operating
locally. One of the principal recommendations of the Report of the Task Force on the
Integration of Local Government and Local Development Systems (August 1998) was the
establishment of County/City Development Boards (CDBs) in each of the 29 county
councils, and in each of the 5 major cities (Dublin City Council, Cork City Council, Limerick
City Council, Galway City Council and Waterford City Council) to bring about an integrated
approach to the delivery of both State and local development services at local level.

                                                                        RH 9M9288 7/2006 6/22
The Boards have now been set up. The CDBs are representative of local government,
local development bodies (Area Partnerships, LEADER Groups, and County/City
Enterprise Boards) and the State agencies and the social partners operating locally.
The CDBs draw up and oversee the implementation of a County/City Strategy for
Economic, Social and Cultural Development which provides a template guiding all public
services and local development activities locally; in effect bringing more coherence to
delivery of services locally. The importance of the CDBs can also been seen by the
endorsement of their role in the National Development Plan 2000 - 2006, in the Rural
White Paper "Ensuring the Future - A Strategy for Rural Development in Ireland", and in
the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (

The Development Plan
The main instrument for regulation and control of development is the national
Development Plan. The plan is reviewed approximately every 4 years and states that
authority’s policies for land use and for development control and promotion in its area. The
authority, in exercising control, must consider the provisions of the Plan, and try to secure
its objectives.
In general, the Plan shows the authority’s objectives for the sole or primary use of
particular areas (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural), for road
improvements, for development and renewal of obsolete areas, and for preserving,
improving and extending amenities. Public participation in making the plan is important.

The public can become involved in the making of the development plan, at the initial stage,
when the planning authority publishes its intention to review the plan, at the draft plan
stage and if applicable, at the amended draft plan stage. At all these stages, the public can
make submissions or observations, within specified time periods, on what is being
proposed by the planning authority at all these stages.

Notice of the making of the draft plan is published and the draft plan goes on public display
for at least 10 weeks, during which time the public may make submissions on its content.
Any submissions received within the specified period must be considered before the Plan
is adopted. Before a plan is adopted, copies of the draft must be sent to various statutory
and voluntary bodies who may be able to give the authority specialist advice.

Development Control
All decisions to grant or to refuse planning permission are firstly for the relevant planning
authority, and for An Bord Pleanála (the Planning Appeals Board) in an appeal.

All development, unless specifically exempted, needs planning permission. Where there is
doubt over what constitutes development, anyone can refer the case to the planning
authority for a decision on payment of the prescribed fee. The declaration made can be
appealed to An Bord Pleanála, within 4 weeks of the issuing of the declaration, on
payment of the prescribed fee. In general, authorities must decide planning applications
within 8 weeks of the date of receipt of the application. The applicant or any person who
made a valid submission in writing, in relation to the planning application, to the planning
authority can appeal to An Bord Pleanála, within 4 weeks of the decision.

In deciding applications, authorities are restricted to considering the proper planning and
development of the area concerned, including the preservation and improvement of
amenities, the development plan, and any valid, written submissions or observations made
on a proposed development. Where permission is refused, or granted with conditions, the
authority must give reasons for the decision. A planning permission normally lasts for five
years, but may be extended in certain cases.

                                                                        RH 9M9288 7/2006 7/22
In addition to the development plans, Ireland has adopted the spatial planning approach
encouraged through the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) and
developed a national planning strategy in the form of the National Spatial Strategy (NSS).

1.3.2    The National Spatial Strategy

The National Spatial Strategy (NSS) was produced by the Department of the Environment,
Heritage and Local Government in 2002 and presents a 20-year national planning
framework for Ireland. It aims to achieve a better balance of social, economic and physical
development across Ireland, supported by more effective planning. Key to the strategy is
the concept of balanced regional development (

In line with the ESDP, the NSS also recognises the importance of other plans and
programmes and their relevance to achieving the aims of the Strategy. In addressing
spatial issues for the island of Ireland as a whole and strengthening cross border co-
operation, the NSS acknowledges the importance of the Regional Development Strategy
for Northern Ireland called ‘Shaping Our Future’. The NSS has also contributed to the
midterm review of Ireland’s National Development Plan.

The National Development Plan (2000-2006) is a strategic investment plan for Ireland,
involving investment of over EUR 52 billion of Public and EU funds (in 1999 prices) over
the period to 2006. The plan involves significant investment in health services, social
housing, education, public transport, rural development, industry, water and waste
services, childcare and local development. The new National Development Plan (2007-
2013) is currently in preparation (

The NSS includes objectives to provide integrated water services and infrastructure as a
key component of development. These objectives are included within the strategies for
both urban and rural areas. The protection of water as an environmental resource and
asset is also emphasised. Improving water assets to enhance some urban areas is
presented as a means to promote these areas as gateways to Ireland.

1.3.3    Environmental Assessment

Environmental Impact Assessment
Certain developments must be assessed for likely environmental effects (commonly
known as environmental impact assessment (EIA)) before planning permission can be
granted. When submitting a planning application for such a development, the applicant
must also submit an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Projects needing
environmental impact assessment are listed in Schedule 5 of the Planning and
Development Regulations 2001.

In the case of development which is under the relevant EIA threshold, planning authorities
are required under article 103 of the 2001 Regulations to request an EIS where it
considers that the proposed development is likely to have significant environmental
effects. The decision as to whether a development is likely to have significant effects on
the environment must be taken with reference to the criteria set out in Schedule 7 of the
Planning and Development Regulations 2001. In order to assist planning and other
consent authorities in deciding if significant effects on the environment are likely to arise in
the case of development below the national mandatory EIA thresholds, the Minister for the
Environment, Heritage and Local Government published a Guidance document in August

                                                                           RH 9M9288 7/2006 8/22
The EIA requirements under planning legislation have been consolidated into Part X of the
Planning and Development Act 2000 and Part 10 of the Planning and Development
Regulations 2001.

Strategic Environmental Assessment
The Directive 2001/42/EC on the Assessment of the Effects of Certain Plans and
Programmes on the Environment was transposed into Irish law by Regulations SI 435 and
SI436 of 2004. These Regulations designate several Environmental Authorities who must
be consulted by Competent Authorities drawing up plans/programmes.

The objective of the Directive is to provide for a high level of protection of the environment
and to contribute to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation
and adoption of specified plans and programmes with a view to promoting sustainable

Eleven sectors are designated where competent authorities must subject specific plans
and programmes to an environmental assessment. This assessment means the
preparation of an environmental report, the carrying out of consultations and the taking
into account of these consultations in decision making that must then be reported on
publicly. Monitoring of the significant environmental effects of the implementation of
plans/programmes must be provided. Environmental authorities must (by reason of their
specific environmental responsibilities) be consulted by competent authorities
(plan/programme makers). In Ireland these are the Environmental Protection Agency,
Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the Department of
Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent public body established
under the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992. The other main instruments from
which it derives its mandate are the Waste Management Act, 1996, and the Protection of
the Environment Act, 2003. The EPA has a wide range of functions to protect the
environment. Its primary activities include:

        Environmental licensing
        Enforcement of environmental law
        Environmental planning and guidance
        Monitoring and reporting on the environmental status- air, water, waste, noise, land
        and soil
        Environmental research


1.3.4      Water Management

Water Services
The Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government has a major role in
the provision and development of the country's physical infrastructure. A key element of
this is water supply and waste water (sewerage) services.
An important part of water management programmes include the provision of a legislative
and policy framework for the water services to deliver a cost effective manner and to
achieve sustainable, economic and social development.

Strategic Objectives
The provision of water and waste water services is the responsibility of Ireland's Sanitary
(Local) Authorities. Their main water service functions can be summarised as:

                                                                         RH 9M9288 7/2006 9/22
•   Provision of water supplies
•   Ensuring adequacy of supply and
•   Maintaining water quality for human consumption.

The Department's role is in implementing Government policy in this area, making sure that
the necessary level of national and EU funding is secured to finance the services and
monitoring physical and financial progress on schemes.

Strategic environmental and economic objectives for the development of water and waste
water services infrastructure have been defined and restated for the period of Ireland's
National Development Plan 2000 – 2006 (

The National Hydrometric Programme
There is no single organisation in Ireland with full responsibility for hydrological data
collection, processing or analysis. The organisations where this type of work is carried out
are Met Éireann, the Office of Public Works (OPW), the Electricity Supply Board (ESB),
the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
where the work previously undertaken by AFF/ERU is continued, in collaboration with local

Section 64 of the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992 requires the EPA, after
consultation, to prepare a national programme for the collection, analysis and publication
of information on the levels, volumes and flows of water in rivers, lakes and groundwaters
in the State. The Agency can direct a local authority to provide and maintain gauges, make
arrangements to provide gauges or provide gauges itself. The programme must be
reviewed at least every 5 years. As part of this programme, the EPA produces flooding
reports for selected catchments in Ireland. Information regarding the National Hydrometric
Programme and the catchment flooding reports can be found at:

Ireland’s Flood Relief Programme
The Office of Public Works (OPW) is the Irish Government’s principal engineering agency.
It is responsible for the restoration and preservation of many prestigious state buildings,
the acquisition and fitting out of office accommodation for Government Departments, the
construction and maintenance of Garda stations and prisons and the arterial drainage and
flood relief programme.

The OPW had responsibility for conserving and promoting Ireland's natural and man-made
heritage through National Parks and Monuments, Waterway and Wildlife Services.
However in March 1996 these functions were transferred to the Department of Arts,
Culture and the Gaeltacht.

Flood defence and maintenance work undertaken by the OPW subsequent to the Arterial
Drainage Act 1945 was carried out on a catchment basis. This approach was found to be
insufficiently flexible to cope with the series of major, localised flooding events that
occurred in Ireland in the 1990s. These events led to the Arterial Drainage Amendment
Act, 1995, which permitted the OPW to undertake limited flood relief works in sensitive
locations, while not increasing exposure to flooding in upstream or downstream areas. A
number of scheme designs were brought forward on a priority basis. OPW determined that
these schemes would be subject to Environmental Impact Statements.

In September 2004 the Government confirmed the Office of Public Works as the States’
lead agency in flooding, to be tasked with delivering an integrated multifaceted programme
aimed at mitigating future flood risk and impact. One of the outcomes of the programme
has been an information guide for the public advising how to minimise the impacts of
flooding in their homes: (

                                                                       RH 9M9288 7/2006 10/22
Integrated Coastal Zone Management
The national Spatial Strategy recognises that coastal areas provide a scenically attractive
environment that is biologically highly productive and diverse. It also recognises that at the
same time, this environment accommodates a wide range of economic activities and
recreational uses. Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) provides a holistic
approach to the interactions between sectors, agencies and legal codes. The articulation
of an integrated coastal zone management strategy is to be taken forward by the
Government Departments concerned, drawing on EU recommendations on the
implementation of ICZM and national and international ICZM research and experience.

Irish Sea Pilot Project
The purpose of the Irish Sea Pilot Project was to help develop a strategy for marine nature
conservation that could be applied to all UK waters and, with international collaboration,
the adjacent waters of the north-east Atlantic. The marine spatial planning project included
the administrative jurisdictions of England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and
the Isle of Man.

While the report’s conclusions were intended to apply directly to the United Kingdom, one
of the main conclusions of the Pilot was the importance of working closely with
international Government partners and stakeholders. It suggests that this will be crucial in
the effective future management of the national seas and adjacent waters. More
information on this project and the final report can be found at:

1.3.5   Water Legislation

The EU Water Framework Directive
As part of a substantial restructuring of EU water policy and legislation, a Directive
establishing a new framework for Community action in the field of water policy
(2000/60/EC) was agreed by the European Parliament and Council in September 2000
and came into force on 22nd December 2000. The Directive, generally known as the EU
Water Framework Directive rationalises and updates existing water legislations and
provides for water management on the basis of River Basin Districts (RBD's).

The main activities for the implementation of the WFD will take place in the context of
River Basin Management Projects led by local authorities. The Department of the
Environment, Heritage and Local Government is promoting the establishment by local
authorities of such projects to address all inland and coastal waters.

The overall objective of River Basin Management Projects is to establish an integrated
monitoring and management system for all waters within a RBD, to develop a dynamic
programme of management measures and to produce a River Basin Management Plan
which will be continually updated.

Central to the Water Framework Directive is a requirement for Member States to
encourage the active involvement of all interested parties in its implementation.

The Water Framework Directive in Ireland
The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has established a
WFD Co-ordination Group to co-ordinate and promote, at national level, implementation of
the Directive. The first meeting of this group took place on 9 February 2001. The national
group is supported by a number of advisory/technical working groups in specialist topics.
There is also a Water Framework Directive website (

                                                                        RH 9M9288 7/2006 11/22
The Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Environment and Local
Government, local authorities and associated consultancies have prepared the Article 5
characterisation report for the Irish River Basin Districts. This report provides a
comprehensive outline of Ireland's water resources, an assessment of the risks of failing to
meet the objectives of the WFD plus an economic analysis of water resources. The report,
including an updated summary version, is available at

1.3.6      Ecology

National Parks and Wildlife Service
The National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS), part of the Department of the Environment,
Heritage & Local Government (DEHLG), manages the Irish State's nature conservation
responsibilities under National and European law. The NPWS is charged with the
conservation of a range of ecosystems and populations of flora and fauna in Ireland. A
particular responsibility of the NPWS is the designation and protection of Special Areas of
Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Natural Heritage Areas
(NHAs). Consultation with interested parties is an integral element of the designation
process. NPWS is also responsible for:

        The implementation of both domestic (e.g. Wildlife Acts 1976-2000) & international
        (e.g. EU Habitats & Birds Directives) legislation;
        The management & development of National Parks & Nature Reserves;
        Overseeing licensing under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered
        Species (CITES) & the Wildlife Acts 1976-2000.

(Source: )

Nature Conservation Legislation
The principal biodiversity related legislation in Ireland is that concerned with nature
conservation. The most important legislation on nature conservation is the Wildlife Act,
1976, the Wildlife (Amendment) Act, 2000 and the European Union (Natural Habitats)
Regulations, S.I. 94/1997.

The Wildlife Act, 1976 provided a fairly adequate legislative base for nature conservation.
The species protection provisions, including those regulating hunting, were quite
comprehensive, to the extent, for example, that they largely foresaw similar aspects of the
EU Birds and Habitats Directives. However, the habitat/site protection measures in the
1976 Act were relatively weak, and were almost completely limited to measures which
could be introduced in agreement with landowners. There was very limited power to
ensure protection, even in the case of outstanding habitats or sites, where agreement of
landowners was not forthcoming.

Nature conservation legislation was substantially enlarged and improved by the Wildlife
(Amendment) Act, 2000 and the European Union (Natural Habitats) Regulations.

                                                                       RH 9M9288 7/2006 12/22
1.4     Details of the planning instruments in the UK: policy, law and other planning

1.4.1 European level


 Subject      Policy             Year      Purpose/Contents

 Spatial      European           1999      The aim of this spatial development policy is to work towards a
 Planning     Spatial                      balanced and sustainable development of the territory of the European
              Development                  Union. The ESDP is a policy framework for the sectoral policies of the
              Perspective,                 Community and the Member States that have spatial impacts, as well
              ESDP                         as for regional and local authorities, aimed as it is at achieving a
                                           balanced and sustainable development of the European territory.

              ESPON              2002-     The European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON) was
                                 Present   launched after the ESDP, adopted by the Ministers responsible for
                                           Spatial Planning of the EU in May 1999 in Potsdam, calling for a better
                                           balance and polycentric development of the European territory. Being
                                           part of the Community Initiative INTERREG III, it is one element of the
                                           Structural Funds period 2000-2006.

              Flood risk
 Water                           2004      Towards a EU Action programme on Flood Risk Management: Many
 Management                                Member States are already taking flood protection measures but
                                           concerted and co-ordinated action at the level of the European Union
                                           would bring a considerable added value and improve the overall level
              protection and
                                           of flood protection. Therefore in the Communication on Flood risk
                                           management; Flood prevention, protection and mitigation the
                                           Commission has proposed to develop and implement a concerted EU
                                           Action Programme on flood risk management as flood events have the
                                           potential to undermine the EU’s drive towards sustainable development
                                           and the flood risks are increasing.

              TEN                1993      In 1993 the European Council of ministers decided to extend and
              (Water                       improve the Trans-European Networks. Trans-European Networks are
              management                   modern high-technical infrastructures to bring Europe more closely
              related to                   together and to strengthen the economy. Near the traffic infrastructure
              infrastructure)              (rail, street, inland waters) the fields of energy and telecommunications
                                           are also supported by TEN.

 Ecology      The Convention     1982      The principal aims of the Convention are to ensure conservation and
              on the                       protection of all wild plant and animal species and their natural habitats
              Conservation of              (listed in Appendices I and II of the Convention), to increase
              European                     cooperation between contracting parties, and to afford special
              Wildlife and                 protection to the most vulnerable or threatened species (including
              Natural Habitats             migratory species) (listed in Appendix 3). To this end the Convention
              (The BERN                    imposes legal obligations on contracting parties, protecting over 500
              Convention)                  wild plant species and more than 1000 wild animal species.

              Natura 2000        2000      This Directive, known as the "Habitats Directive", is intended to help
                                           maintain biodiversity in the Member States by defining a common
                                           framework for the conservation of wild plants and animals and habitats
                                           of Community interest. The Directive establishes a European ecological
                                           network known as "Natura 2000". The network comprises "special
                                           areas of conservation" designated by Member States in accordance
                                           with the provisions of the Directive, and special protection areas
                                           classified pursuant to Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild

                                                                                          RH 9M9288 7/2006 13/22

 Subject           Legislation         Year        Purpose/Contents

                   ---------           ---------   ---------

 Water             Council Directive               Under the Directive, member states are required to achieve stated
 Management        92/43/EEC (the                  targets for protecting and improving inland and coastal waters

 Ecology           Council Directive               These Directives provide for the protection of animal and plant species
                   79/409/EEC (the                 of European importance and the habitats which support them,
                   Birds Directive)                particularly through the establishment of a network of protected sites

                   Council Directive
                   92/43/EEC (the
                   Species and


 Subject           Instrument          Year        Purpose/Contents

 Spatial           ---------           ---------   ---------

 Water             ---------           ---------   ---------

 Ecology           ---------           ---------   ---------

Table 2: Policy, legislation and other planning instruments on European level

                                                                                                RH 9M9288 7/2006 14/22
1.4.2 National level (IRE)


Subject       Policy                Year        Purpose / contents

Water         Coastal Zone          1998        ---------
Management    Management – A
              Draft Policy for

Spatial       National Spatial      2002-2020   The National Spatial Strategy is a 20 year planning framework
Planning      Strategy                          for all parts of Ireland that is aimed at achieving a better balance
                                                of social, economic, physical development and population
                                                growth between the regions. The strategy is a broad planning
                                                framework for investment by the public and private sectors alike.

              Development           1982        A non-statutory guideline. General advice and guidelines to
              Control Advice and                assist planning authorities in reviewing their approach to
              Guidelines                        development control and planning applications.

              Urban development     1983        A non-statutory guideline for the preparation of statutory
              plans for the 1980s               Development Plans. Guideline provides guidance for planning
                                                authorities and gives an indication of the Ministers for the
                                                Environment´s policy on various issues.

Ecology /     Environmental         1990        The EAP is consistent with the EU´s 5 Programme of Policy
Environment   Action Programme                  and Action on the Environment. The EAP incorporates a range
              (EAP)                             of measures to protect and enhance the long-term quality of the
                                                Irish environment.

              Environmental         1993 -      Main task of the agency is managing the natural environment
              Protection Agency     present     and regulation those incompatible activities which compete for
              (EPA)                             the use of resources.

              National Climate      2000        The strategy provides a framework for achieving greenhouse
              Change Strategy                   gas emission reductions in the most efficient and equitable
              Ireland                           manner while continuing to support economic growth and to
                                                prepare Ireland for the more ambitious commitments that will be
                                                required after 2012.


Subject       Legislation           Year        Purpose / contents

Water         Coastal Protection    1963        This Act gives the local authority, which is together with property
Management    Act                               owners responsible for their own coastline, the power to invest
                                                in and research protection.

              Water Service Bill    2003        The Bill incorporates a comprehensive review, update and
                                                consolidation of all existing water services legislation, and
                                                facilitates the establishment of a comprehensive supervisory
                                                regime to ensure compliance with specified performance

                                                                                        RH 9M9288 7/2006 15/22
           Local Government       1878-2001   Pending enactment of the Water Services Bill, these Acts
           (Sanitary Services)                present the primary statute law relating to the abstraction of
           Acts                               water, provision of water supplies and the disposal and
                                              treatment of sewage by local authorities.

           The Arterial           1995        A response to the series of major localised flooding events that
           Drainage                           occurred in Ireland during the 1990s. The Act permitted the
           Amendment Act                      OPW to undertake limited flood relief works in sensitive
                                              locations, while not increasing exposure to flooding in upstream
                                              or downstream areas. A number of scheme designs were
                                              brought forward on a priority basis. A schedule of progress on
                                              some of these schemes can be viewed at:

Spatial    Planning and           2000        A comprehensive review of planning legislation was initiated in
Planning   Development Act                    August 1997, representing the first comprehensive overhaul of
                                              the 1963 Planning and Development Act in almost 40 years. The
                                              principle of the review was to ensure that the planning system of
                                              the twenty first century would be strategic in approach and
                                              imbued with an ethos of sustainable development and would
                                              deliver a performance of the highest quality. The Planning and
                                              Development Act, 2000 arose out of the review. The Act
                                              consolidates all previous Planning Acts and much of the
                                              Environmental Impact Assessment regulations. As well as
                                              consolidating existing provisions, the Act contains many
                                              significant changes and new initiatives. In the Act, there is
                                              strengthened emphasis on the forward looking plan making
                                              element of the planning system.
                                              The Act gives a strong structure of plans at different levels from
                                              national to local, each informing the other in a “top down meets
                                              bottom up” approach.

           Planning and           2001        The Planning and Development Regulations, 2001 implement
           Development                        the Planning and Development Act, 2000 in its entirety.

           Planning     and       2002        The primary purpose of this Act is to amend Part v of the
           Development                        Planning and Development Act, 2000 (Housing Supply). The Act
           (Amendment) Act                    also makes miscellaneous amendments to the 2000 Act and
                                              certain amendments to the Housing (Miscellaneous provisions)
                                              Acts, 1992 and 2002 and to the Housing Finance Agency Act,

           Proposed Planning      2004/2005   The summary of proposed changes and draft planning
           and Development                    regulations can be viewed at

           Planning         and   2006        The Bill is intended to provide a better service for all
           Development                        stakeholders, infrastructure providers, State bodies and general
           (Strategic                         public alike by providing for the introduction of a one step
           Infrastructure) Bill               strategic consent procedure for certain types of major
                                              infrastructure. A new division will be established within the board
                                              to handle decisions on all major infrastructure projects – major
                                              local authority projects and motorways which are already the
                                              responsibility of the Board, strategic infrastructure consents,
                                              major electricity transmission lines and railway orders.
                                              The Bill also provides that the public, the local authority
                                              (including the elected members) and interested stakeholders be
                                              consulted and their views will be taken into account and extends
                                              the rules on access to judicial reviews for environmental Non-
                                              Governmental Organisations and will also ensure that Ireland is
                                              in compliance with its international obligations under the Aarhus
                                              Convention on Public Participation.

                                                                                      RH 9M9288 7/2006 16/22
Ecology /     The Wildlife Act     1976          The principal legal basis for nature conservation in Ireland. The
Environment                                      main objectives of the act are e.g. to provide better protection for
                                                 wild fauna and flora, to provide effective machinery for the
                                                 conservation of areas having specific wildlife values. Nature
                                                 reserves and wildlife service are important functions,
                                                 implemented in the Wildlife Act.

              The Wildlife         2000          The Amendment generally strengthens and deepens the 1976
              (Amendment) Act                    Wildlife Act. The main additions of the new Act relate to
                                                 designation for Natural Heritage Areas, ratification of the
                                                 Convention on the Illegal Trade of Endangered Species (
                                                 CITES), a lengthening of the prohibition period for the cutting of
                                                 hedgerows and stronger penalties and sentences for offences
                                                 committed under the Act.

              European Union       1997          The conservation of biodiversity in Ireland has been
              (Natural Habitats)                 strengthened and expanded by EU law, most notably by the
              Directive                          Birds and the Habitats Directives and also by the EIA Directive
                                                 (85/337/EEC). In 1997, the EC Habitats Directive was
                                                 transposed into national law and the relevant Regulations
                                                 represent a fundamental shift in nature conservation policy and

              The Flora            1999          The current list of plant species protected by section 21 of the
              (Protection) Order                 Wildlife Act, 1976 is set out in the Flora (Protection) Order,
                                                 1999, which supersedes orders made in 1980 and 1987. It is
                                                 illegal to cut, uproot or damage the listed species in any way, or
                                                 to offer them for sale. This prohibition extends to the taking or
                                                 sale of seed. In addition, it is illegal to alter damage or interfere
                                                 in any way with their habitats. This protection applies wherever
                                                 the plants are found and is not confined to sites designated for
                                                 nature conservation. If you have a special requirement to take
                                                 specimens of these plants, or to interfere or alter their habitat
                                                 you can apply for a licence. Any major change in existing land-
                                                 use (e.g. a change from pasture to arable, or a change in
                                                 fertiliser regime would be covered by this provision.

              The Whale            1997          Under the Whale Fisheries Act, 1937, the hunting of all whale
              Fisheries Act                      species, including dolphins and porpoises, is totally banned
                                                 within the fisheries limits of the State, i.e. out to 200 miles from
                                                 the coast. The Whale Fisheries Act, 1937, also prohibited the
                                                 hunting by Irish registered ships of certain whales, including
                                                 right whales and female whales accompanied by calves, outside
                                                 of the fisheries limits of the State. In 1991, Ireland declared its
                                                 waters a whale and dolphin sanctuary, the first European
                                                 sanctuary within the fishery limits of an entire country.

              The National Parks   Under         A Bill is also under consideration to provide legal bases for
              Bill                 Considerati   National Parks (and other heritage properties) which are
                                   on            currently managed under a number of other Acts, including the
                                                 State Property Act, 1954. It is probable that this Bill will provide
                                                 that the primary purpose of National Parks is the conservation of
                                                 wildlife, and that Parks should provide for public use and
                                                 education, insofar as this is compatible with the conservation of


Subject       Instrument           Year          Purpose / contents

Water         National Water       2000          The first study of a rolling programme of water resource reviews.
Management    Study                              The objectives of the National Water Study were to produce a
                                                 National Report on water conservation and water supply
                                                 augmentation projects. The report is based on an analysis of a
                                                 broad spectrum of water resource and water supply system
                                                 assets, together with operational data collected as part of the
                                                 study, or generated by the study.

                                                                                          RH 9M9288 7/2006 17/22
              The Water           2004-2006      Response to the growing demand on water and sewerage
              Services                           services in Ireland since the 1990s. The programme is divided in
              Investment                         to 2 parts 1) major public water and waste water (sewerage)
              Programme                          schemes, and 2) rural water services and group schemes. The
                                                 largest component of the Programme relates to the provision of
                                                 water and sewerage schemes with a view to complying with
                                                 both the EU Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive and the
                                                 Drinking Water Directive but in addition the Programme is
                                                 intended to facilitate the development of land for housing and
                                                 commercial use. The Rural Water programme aims at
                                                 redressing quality and capacity deficits in rural water supplies.
                                                 As part of the overall Water Services Investment Programme
                                                 there are a number of targeted initiatives with specific
                                                 objectives. These relate to:
                                                 •      Water Conservation,
                                                 •      Sludge Management,
                                                 •      The serviced land initiative, and
                                                 •      The Rural Towns and Villages initiative

              Rural Water         Launched       The National Rural Water Monitoring Committee (NRWMC),
              Strategic Plan      2003           which represents the local authorities, the Federation of Group
                                                 Water Schemes and the rural organisations, is now in place to
                                                 advise on policy and oversee the implementation, by local
                                                 authorities, of the annual Rural Water programme. The NRWMC
                                                 has published a Guidance Document for the preparation by local
                                                 authorities of a Rural Water Strategic Plan. These Plan set out
                                                 an agreed strategy for supplying all rural areas within Counties
                                                 with a satisfactory water supply.

              National Water      Launched       Building on 15 initial ‘fact-finding’ water conservation schemes,
              Conservation        2003           carries out by selected local authorities since 1996, the
              Programme                          Programme is designed to identify and substantially reduce the
                                                 levels of unaccounted for water in Ireland’s water supply
                                                 network. These programmes are based on the connection
                                                 between water supply and economic growth. Development in
                                                 Dublin and elsewhere is Ireland, has shown that one of the
                                                 crucial supports that has underpinned economic growth is the
                                                 availability of reliable supplies of potable water.

              National Urban      2005           The Study presents the most extensive examination to date of
              Waste Water Study                  Ireland’s public waste water infrastructure. The study involved
                                                 the collection, collation, mapping and analysis of urban drainage
                                                 systems including waste water treatment facilities and an
                                                 assessment of future waste water requirements.

Spatial       The National        2002-2006      The National Development Plan is a Strategic Investment Plan
Planning      Development Plan    (2007-2013     for Ireland, involving investment of over EUR 52 billion of public
                                  Plan           and EU funds (in 1999 prices) over the period top 2006. The
                                  currently in   plan involves significant investment in health services, social
                                  preparation)   housing, education, public transport, rural development,
                                                 industry, water and waste service, childcare and local
                                                 development (

              Community           1994 –         The Community Support Framework is the document agreed
              Support             1999           between the European Commission and the Irish Government,
              Framework                          through which Structural Fund assistance is paid. The basis for
                                                 negotiations on the C.S.F. is the National Development Plan.
                                                 The C.S.F. includes an outline of priorities for action, quantified
                                                 objectives and targets, and anticipated financial resources for
                                                 investment, as well as monitoring, evaluation and control
                                                 systems. Once adopted, Operational Programmes can then be
                                                 approved by the Commission

Ecology /     Green 2000          1991           Was established by prime minister to carry out a fundamental
Environment   Advisory Group                     review of the key issues facing the natural environment in
                                                 Ireland. The result was a Report, published in 1993

              A Government of     1994-97        Programme for the protection and enhancement of the
              Renewal                            environment

                                                                                         RH 9M9288 7/2006 18/22
                   National                2002                  The Biodiversity Plan spells out a range of measures, involving
                   Biodiversity Plan       (Interim              significant costs, and the time-scale within which they might be
                                           Review,               implemented. These measures will be considered in due course
                                           2005)                 in the context of available resources. The plan pays special
                                                                 attention to the need for the integration of the conservation and
                                                                 sustainable use of biological diversity into all relevant sectors.

                   National Heritage       2002                  The purpose of the National Heritage Plan is to set out a clear
                   Plan                                          and coherent strategy and framework for the protection and
                                                                 enhancement of Ireland’s heritage over the next five years. This
                                                                 is a new approach. Never before has the task of preparing a
                                                                 single vision for the protection of our heritage been attempted.
                                                                 The preparation of the National Heritage Plan establishes clear
                                                                 priorities across the sector and enables everyone who is
                                                                 interested in our heritage to work towards common goals.

                   Technical               1995 -                Produced by the Environmental Protection Agency, these
                   Guidance                present               Technical Guidance Documents are published on a wide range
                   Documents                                     if issues such as energy efficiency, waste, noise, air quality etc.

Table 3: Policy, legislation and other planning instruments on national level

1.4.3 Regional / Municipality / Project level


Subject               Policy                         Year          Purpose / contents

Water                 ---------                      ---------     ---------

Spatial Planning      Regional Planning              2004          Long-term strategic planning framework for the development
                      Guidelines                                   of the region for which the guidelines are prepared.
                                                                   Guidelines are for a period not less than 12 years not more
                                                                   than 20 years.
                                                                   The guidelines provide a framework for the county and city

                      Local Government               1982          Related to particular areas of Planning Policy, for example to
                      General Policy Directive       and           air quality or to the impact of large scale retail development.
                                                     1988          The directive must be considered by planning authority in
                                                                   coming to a decision and by An Board Pleanala in making a
                                                                   decision on an appeal.

Ecology /             ---------                      ---------     ---------


Subject               Legislation                    Year          Purpose / contents

Water                 ---------                      ---------     ---------

                                                                                                         RH 9M9288 7/2006 19/22
Spatial Planning      Local Government Act         2001        The Act consolidates local government legislation from the
                                                   Amen        19 Century to the Present. It provides a statutory framework
                                                   ded         for all spatial planning including development plans and
                                                   2003        regulations. The main objectives of the Act were to enhance
                                                               the role of the elected member, support community
                                                               involvement with local authorities in a more participative local
                                                               democracy, modernise local government legislation, provide
                                                               the framework for new financial management systems and
                                                               other procedures to promote efficiency and effectiveness, and
                                                               underpin generally the programme of local government

Ecology /             ---------                    ---------   ---------


Subject               Instrument                   Year        Purpose / contents

Water                 River Basin                  Since       Under the Water Framework Directive, the Department of the
Management            Management Projects          2000        Environment, Heritage and Local Government is encouraging
                                                               the establishment by Local Authorities of river basin
                                                               management projects for River Basin Districts in relation to all
                                                               inland and coastal waters that will facilitate participation by all
                                                               stakeholders, and lead to the identification and
                                                               implementation of effective measures for improved water
                                                               management. The overall objective of these projects is to
                                                               develop a River Basin Management System, including a
                                                               programme of measures designed to maintain and/or achieve
                                                               at least good water status for all waters, and to facilitate the
                                                               preparations of River Basin Management Plans.

Spatial Planning      Local Development Plan       Since       A framework for all developments in the planning authority
                                                   1963        area. Local authorities have the duty to prepare these plans
                                                               every 4 years.

                      Strategic Development        2002        Under Part IX of the Planning & Development Act (2000,
                      Zones                        (2002)      Amended 2002), specific sites may be designated as
                                                               strategic development zones by the Government, for
                                                               development of economic or social importance to the State.
                                                               Once designated, a planning scheme must be prepared
                                                               setting out how the site is to be developed.

                      Local Area Plans             2000        In addition to the development plan, local area plans can set
                                                   (2002)      out specific types of development in a particular area.

                      Operational Programme        1994 –      For the implementation of the Government´s local
                      for Local Urban and          2006        development initiatives. The programme provides support via
                      Rural development                        three sub-programmes to bring about social and economic
                                                               development at local level, to enable communities to be
                                                               involved in that development in a formal was and to achieve
                                                               physical improvement to the local environment.

Ecology /             Local Biodiversity Plan      2002        As part of the National Biodiversity Plan (one of 91 actions),
Environment                                        (interim    each local authority is to prepare a local biodiversity plan.

                      Specific management          ---------   Local authorities may produce these plans in the interest of
                      plan                                     protection the environment. Plans are for sensitive or
                                                               important environmental amenities, e.g. the Wicklow Uplands
                                                               Management strategy, or National Park Management Plans.

Table 4: Policy, legislation and other planning instruments on regional, municipal and project level

                                                                                                      RH 9M9288 7/2006 20/22
Literature and sources

•     European Union, regional policy and cohesion (1997): The EU compendium of
spatial planning systems and policies, Regional Development Studies. Luxembourg, Office
for Official Publication of the European Commission.

•     European Union, regional policy (1999): The EU compendium of spatial planning
systems and policies – Ireland, Regional Development Studies. Luxembourg, Office for
Official Publication of the European Commission.

•    ISoCaRP, International Society of City and Regional Planners, 2002

Links to relevant policy and legislative documents (chapter 1.4) can be found on the
following websites:

•    Information on the Irish State

•    The Head of the Irish Government (Taoiseach)

•    The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government

•    Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources

•    The Heritage Council

•    The Office of Public Works

•    The Environmental Protection Agency

•    The National Parks and Wildlife Service

•    The National Spatial Strategy

•    The Irish Planning Institute

•    The Irish Regions Office

•    The South West Regional Authority

                                                                   RH 9M9288 7/2006 21/22
•   South Dublin County Council

•   An Taisce (The National Trust)

•   County Development Boards

•   An example of a development plan, Dublin City

                                                                 RH 9M9288 7/2006 22/22

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