Planning and Development Act 2000
Duty and objective of Board in relation to appeals and referrals.
126.—(1) It shall be the duty of the Board to ensure that appeals and referrals are disposed of as expeditiously as may be and, for that purpose, to take all such steps as are open to it to ensure that, in so far as is practicable, there are no avoidable delays at any stage in the determination of appeals and referrals.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) and subject to subsections (3), (4) and (5), it shall be the objective of the Board to ensure that every appeal or referral is determined within—
(a) a period of 18 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the Board of the appeal or referral, or
(b) such other period as the Minister may prescribe in accordance with subsection (4), either generally or in respect of a particular class or classes of appeals or referrals.
(3) (a) Where it appears to the Board that it would not be possible or appropriate, because of the particular circumstances of an appeal or referral or because of the number of appeals and referrals which have been submitted to the Board, to determine the appeal or referral within the period referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (2), as the case may be, the Board shall, by notice in writing served on the parties to the appeal or referral before the expiration of that period, inform those parties of the reasons why it would not be possible or appropriate to determine the appeal or referral within that period and shall specify the date before which the Board intends that the appeal or referral shall be determined, and shall also serve such notice on each person who has made submissions or observations to the Board in relation to the appeal or referral.
(b) Where a notice has been served under paragraph (a), the Board shall take all such steps as are open to it to ensure that the appeal or referral is determined before the date specified in the notice.
(4) The Minister may by regulations vary the period referred to in subsection (2)(a) either generally or in respect of a particular class or classes of appeals or referrals where it appears to him or her to be necessary, by virtue of exceptional circumstances, to do so and for so long as such regulations are in force this section shall be construed and have effect in accordance therewith.
(5) Where the Minister considers it to be necessary or expedient that—
(a) appeals from decisions (of a specified class or classes) of planning authorities under section 34, or
(b) referrals of a specified class or classes,
relating to development of a class or classes of special strategic, economic or social importance to the State, be determined as expeditiously as is consistent with proper planning and sustainable development, the Minister may give a direction to the Board to give priority to the class or classes of appeals or referrals concerned, and the Board shall comply with such direction.
(6) The Board shall include in each report made under section 118 a statement of the number of appeals and referrals that it has determined within a period referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (2) and such other information as to the time taken to determine appeals and referrals as the Minister may direct.