Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
On 29 March 2020, the Government, following my request and taking account of the considerations under section 251A(5) of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, made an Order under section 251A(3) of that Act which resulted in the extension of time for a range of specified or appropriate periods and timelines in the Planning Acts and associated planning regulations.
In determining the end date of the Order, a number of additional days were added beyond the end of the period of the Government’s public health ‘stay at home’ announcement to facilitate the return to normal business by planning authorities and public communication of revised arrangements in advance of the expiry of the section 251A Order. In this context, the date of 20 April 2020 was specified in the Order as the date on which the period to be disregarded under section 251A(1) of the Planning Act was to end, comprising a period of 23 days.
Arising from the decision of the Government to extend the COVID-19 related measures restricting the movement of the public until 5 May 2020, the Government on 16 April 2020 made an Order under Section 251A(4) of the Planning Act further extending the duration of all relevant periods and timelines specified in planning legislation by an additional 19 days, up to and including 9 May 2020. As the Government has since decided to extend further the COVID-19 related restrictive measures until 18 May 2020, the Government has now made an additional Order under section 251A(4) of the Planning Act extending the duration of all relevant periods and timelines specified in planning legislation by an additional 14 days, up to and including 23 May 2020.
The three Orders have the combined effect of extending the relevant planning periods and timelines by an aggregate of 56 days/8 weeks. Notifications of these Orders, including reference to an updated FAQ document, have been issued in circular letters to all planning authorities and An Bord Pleanála. The updated FAQ document, relevant Circulars and the Government Orders, as well as additional information, are also available on my Department’s main COVID-19/Planning webpage at:
The planning system has a key role to play in the post COVID-19 recovery and as restrictions are unwound, I expect that the latest Order, which is effective until 23 May, will be the last such Order made under section 251A of the Planning and Development Act 2000.