Ireland’s planning system explained

Ireland’s planning system explained

Ireland’s planning system explained

Resources from the Office of the Planning Regulator

There is currently a public consultation on the Draft Clare County Development Plan 2023-2029, with the deadline for submissions just seven weeks away on 28th March. With that in mind, we wanted to share some really useful resources from the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR), covering Ireland’s planning system. 

The OPR’s wide range of training resources include very clear and informative slides, infographics and leaflets that explain how Ireland’s planning system functions, the role of the local authority, how County Development Plans are drawn up and implemented and the role of the Office of the Planning Regulator. 

These resources were created as part of training courses delivered by the OPR and in some cases they include recordings of the training sessions. Some of the key topics covered include: Introduction to the Planning System, Stages of the Development Plan, the Planning Process, and more recently they have delivered training in more specialised topics such as Housing and Climate. Here is a list of training events:

• ‘Introduction to Planning System’
• ‘Plan Making Process’
• ‘Role of Elected Member’
• ‘Guidance for Councillors on the Initial Stages of Preparing Development Plans and their Core Strategies
‘Consideration and Finalisation of the Draft Development Plan’
‘Implementation of the Development Plan and the Development Management Process’
• ‘The Decision on the Planning Application and Appeal’
• ‘An Overview of Planning Enforcement Functions’
• ‘Housing Supply Targets and Core Strategies’
• ‘Rural Planning and Development Policy’
• ‘Delivery of High Quality Housing Appropriate to its Setting’
• ‘On and Offshore Renewables’
• ‘How to Implement National Renewable Energy Targets in Development Plans’
Sustainable Travel and Transport Planning and Local Authority Development Plans’

More broadly, the OPR’s Public Awareness page  provides easy access to a wealth of information relating to planning and hosts: an ‘Introduction to Planning’ page, an online Planning Library, Technical Glossary and Acronym List.

The OPR was established in April 2019 on foot of recommendations made by the the Mahon Tribunal. Its role is to ensure local authorities and An Bord Pleanála support and implement Government planning policy. It also implements planning research, training and public awareness in order to promote the public’s engagement in the planning process and to enhance knowledge and public information about planning in Ireland. Learn more about the OPR at this page, which includes a video.

Find out more about the Draft Clare County Development Plan 2023-2029 and how to make a submission at this page on the Clare PPN website.

Clare County Council holding consultations on 2023 – 2029 Draft County Development Plan

Clare County Council holding consultations on 2023 – 2029 Draft County Development Plan

Clare County Council is holding consultations on 2023 – 2029 Draft County Development Plan:

Clare County Council has prepared a Draft Clare County Development Plan 2023-2029 for the functional area of the Council and they are now seeking feedback from the public on the draft plan.  A County Development Plan consists of a written statement and series of maps that describe how your local authority aims to use particular areas, for example, residential, industrial or agricultural areas. It also sets out development objectives for the area, such as plans to improve roads and local amenities.  Each County or Local Authorities development plan is examined by the Office of the Planning Regulator to ensure that it is not in opposition to national and regional strategies. Development plans must also have an environmental report that highlights any significant environmental effect the plan may have.

The Draft Plan is open for submissions from interested groups and members of the public until March 28th 2022. Any person can make a submission on any aspect of the draft plan and these submissions can be made by post or online. For full details of how to make a submission go to the following link: Have your say | Clare County Council (

The draft plan for Clare can now be read online at:

Draft County Development Plan: Clare County Council (

It will also be on display in the following locations around the county:

  • Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis.
  • Shannon Municipal District Office, Town Hall, Shannon.
  • West Clare Municipal District Office, Town Hall, The Square, Kilrush.
  • Ennistymon Area Office, Ennis Road, Ennistymon.
  • Killaloe Municipal District Office, Mountshannon Road, Scarriff and
  • At all public libraries in County Clare during opening hours.


Clare County Council are also holding a series of public consultations in various locations in Clare between now and February 10th 2022 and the table below lists the places and times of these consultations.

Lisdoonvarna Pavillion, Lisdoonvarna Tuesday 25th January 2022 4.00-8.00pm
Scouts Hall (beside Ennis Parish Office), Station Road, Ennis Wednesday 26th January 2022 4.00-8.00pm
Clonlara Community Sports & Leisure Centre, Clonlara Thursday 27th January 2022 4.00-8.00pm
Kilkee Community Hall, Kilkee Tuesday 1st February 2022 4.00-8.00pm
Killaloe Hotel & Spa, Killaloe Wednesday 2nd February 2022 4.00-8.00pm
Clarecastle Community Hall, Clarecastle Thursday 3rd February 2022 4.00-8.00pm
Kilmihil Community Hall, Kilmihil Tuesday 8th February 2022 4.00-8.00pm
Tulla Cultural Centre, Tulla Wednesday 9th February 2022 4.00-8.00pm
Newmarket on Fergus Community Hall, Newmarket on Fergus Thursday 10th February 2022 4.00-8.00pm





!Postponed! First ever county-wide Clare Pride Festival set for Bank Holiday weekend

!Postponed! First ever county-wide Clare Pride Festival set for Bank Holiday weekend

Please note that these events have been postponed until further notice due to Covid-19 case numbers and continuing restrictions.

First ever county-wide Clare Pride Festival set for Bank Holiday weekend

LGBTQ+ events across Banner will lead to Quare Clare Pride Party at Hotel Doolin at 8pm on Sunday 24th October

History will be made in the Banner this month when the first ever county-wide Clare Pride Festival takes place during the October Bank Holiday weekend. A day of free events in towns across Clare on Sunday 24th October, organised by Quare Clare, will culminate in a fantastic Pride Party in Hotel Doolin with cabaret, DJ and finger food.

The Quare Clare Pride Party will kick off at 8pm at Hotel Doolin, with a ticket price of just €12 and with free tickets available to anyone who might find the cost a barrier to having a fantastic pride night. The party, which is for over-18s only, is kindly sponsored by Hotel Doolin.

Get your ticket here:

Places to stay in and near Doolin:

One of the Quare Clare organisers, Sarah Clancy, who works for Clare PPN and is herself a member of the LGBTQ+ community said: “This is going to be a fantastic weekend for Clare’s LGBTQ+ community and for people who we hope will travel from around Ireland to be with us this weekend. We want our community to be visible and connected to the wider community in Clare.

“We want young and older people in the towns and villages around Ireland to see how rural Ireland too can embrace difference. What better way for us to connect and celebrate than to let Clare do what it’s good at – host one hell of a Pride Party this October.”

Elaine D’Alton of Clare Women’s Network said:
“A series of Pride events in towns across the county will take place during the day on Sunday 24th October, finishing up in Doolin in time for the Pride Party. Details of these daytime events which will be free and open to all, will be announced very shortly.

“The ticket price for the party at Hotel Doolin includes a contribution to a ticket for someone who might otherwise not be able to afford it. Anyone in this position should select a free ticket on the booking form, but for those who can afford it we’d appreciate if they could pay for their ticket.”

“We are inviting people from across Ireland to Clare Pride Festival and we will share options for accommodation in Doolin on and email them to everyone who books a ticket. On Monday 25th October, the mood will be more chilled, with ‘morning after’ activities organised including yoga and meditation, followed by a good-bye cuppa to send everyone on their way.”

“Anyone travelling to Clare and making a weekend of it will be able to take in a hike along the Cliffs of Moher or enjoy some of the beautiful scenery the day after.”

Quare Clare is a new group that has held online meetings and social events. Anyone from the LGBTQ+ community in Clare who would like to get involved in Quare Clare can email to find out more.

Quare Clare was established as the result of a short-term project run jointly by Clare Public Participation Network, Clare Women’s Network, Clare Local Development Company, Rape Crisis Midwest and GOSHH! and supported by The Department of Rural and Community Development and Clare County Council.

Quare Clare is on Facebook at:
Quare Clare – LGBTQ+Clare

And on Twitter:

You can book a ticket for the Quare Clare Pride Party at this Eventbrite link:

Places to stay in and near Doolin: