To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the headquarters, number of staff, estimated full staff complement of the Office of the Planning Regulator; when it will be fully operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) is currently based in temporarily leased office accommodation located at 77 Sir John Rogerson's Quay in Dublin 2 and will be moving to premises on the North Circular Road in the coming months.
The OPR currently employs 17 staff including the Chief Executive, and will have a full staff complement of 21 once recruitment is concluded in the near future.
The Planning Regulator is currently responsible for assessment of all local authority and regional assembly forward planning, including zoning decisions. The Regulator has been tasked with ensuring that planning authorities are operating with the highest standards of integrity and best practice, giving the public confidence that important planning decisions are taken in line with national policy.
The Regulator has the power to review the organisation, systems and procedures used by any planning authority or An Bord Pleanála and I understand he will be commencing his Programme of Reviews in early 2020.
Additionally, the OPR will drive national research, education and public information programmes to highlight the role and benefit of planning. A new training programme for elected representatives will be launched this week and is intended to provide elected members with enhanced knowledge of the planning process, reaffirming their roles and responsibilities within the planning system and their functions in relation to ensuring proper planning and sustainable development.
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