Planning Reform on the Island of Ireland: From Policy to PRACTICE || Thursday, 2nd May 2013

In conjunction with Co-operation Ireland, the International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD) held a one-day conference on Thursday 2nd May 2013 on the theme of Planning Reform on the Island of Ireland: From Policy to Practice.  Held in the Canal Court Hotel, Newry, the conference aimed to provide an opportunity for lively open debate and discussion on the important, and common, planning decisions facing both jurisdictions given the impending transfer of statutory planning functions from central government to new councils in Northern Ireland in 2015 under the Review of Public Administration (RPA) and significant changes being made to the planning system in the Republic of Ireland.

This one day event was held as part of the2013/2014 work programme of the Planning Sub Group of Co-operation Ireland’s All-Island Local Authorities Forum, and was jointly funded by the Department of Environment, Northern Ireland and Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, Republic of Ireland.

The conference was attended by over 100 delegates comprising elected members, council officials, planners, academics, policy-makers and senior local government personnel from across the island of Ireland.

During the course of this one-day event, themes that were discussed included:

  • The issues shaping planning policy and practice in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland;
  • The role of planning in the promotion of economic development at a local and regional level;
  • The strategies / tools for evidence-based planning;
  • The importance of local knowledge and public inputs in informing policy and decision-making;
  • The challenges of infrastructure – development alignment;
  • The (growing) significance of renewable energies in sustainable – and economic – development;
  • The purpose of enhanced capacity building / training for all those involved in local government; and
  • The increasing significance of data and an evidence-base in informing policy and decision-making.

For further information, contact ICLRD at iclrd @

 Copies of presentations can be downloaded from here