Agencies, Legislation
and Guidelines

Welcome to our repository for the agencies, legislation and guidelines that underpin planning and development in Ireland.


Dublin's Development Plan set out policies and objectives to guide how and where development will take place in the city and county over the typically 6-year lifetime of the Plan. Development Plans are designed by Local Authority planners with significant input from councillors and the general public. Development Plans can only come into effect after they have been adopted by the Local Council. At the moment, Local Authorities around Ireland are drafting new development plans as the current ones are soon set to expire. Anybody can make suggestions for the new development plans, either directly through public consultations or by contacting their local councillor.

Currently, new development plans for Dublin's Local Authorities are drafted. The websites for the draft Development Plans are listed in this section. The timeline for the Dublin City Development Plan 2022 - 2028 can be found here.


The planning process in Ireland was consolidated in 2000 by the Planning and Development Act, 2000. Since its inception in 1963, the Act has been amended several times by a succession of Governments and Ministers.

The Act is the primary legislation and the Planning and should be read with the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 Statutory Instrument, which in turn has also been repeatedly amended.


The National Development Plan 2018-2027 sets out the investment priorities that underpins the implementation of the National Planning Framework. It largely describes the Government's capital investment plan under Project Ireland 2040.


From the amended Planning and Development Act and associated regulations numerous national guidelines for planning and development have been produced.

These are issued under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Acts and until 2015, served to inform planning through central government. Since then, they have become mandatory in nature, with Special Planning Policy Requirements superseding local development planning.

The include Design Manuals, Guidelines on Density, Sustainable Urban Design, mandatory directives on apartment sizes and height, amongst many others that are linked below.


The Office of the Planning Regulator has a range of functions, including:

  • independent assessment of all local authority and regional assembly forward planning;

  • conducting reviews of the organisation, systems and procedures used by any planning authority or An Bord Pleanála; and

  • driving national research, education and public information programmes to highlight the role and benefit of planning.

In performing its functions, OPR will take into account the objective of contributing to proper planning and sustainable development and the optimal functioning of planning under the Planning and Development Act, as amended.


The Department’s task is: “To support the sustainable and efficient delivery of well-planned homes, effective local government and vibrant inclusive communities.” Amongst its goal are to:

  • ensure that planning and building in our regions and communities contributes to sustainable and balanced development,

  • provide for a stable, sustainable supply of good quality housing,

  • provide a framework for the sustainable management of water resources from source to sea, and

  • support and enable democratic, responsive and effective local government, effective electoral management and high quality fire services and emergency management.


The Housing Agency is a government body working with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) in the delivery of housing and housing services. The Agency also implements the Pyrite Remediation Scheme and is the interim regulator of the AHB sector.

Its mission is to promote the supply of housing to meet current and future needs and demand by being a centre of expert knowledge on housing, supporting housing policy development and implementing effective housing programmes in collaboration with key stakeholders.


The Land Development Agency is a LDA is a commercial, State-sponsored body that has been created to coordinate land within State control, with a focus on the provision of housing. Initially founded by a Statutory Instrument, it's establishment will be formalised by a bill currently going through the legislative process.