Part 3 (comprising Section 9) of the Bill would insert a new Section 251A into the Planning and Development Act 2000. It would place a freeze on various time limits (or appropriate periods, or specified periods) set out in the Planning Acts, the Derelict Sites Act, the Building Control Act and parts of the Urban Regeneration House Act 2015 and the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies At 2016. Essentially, if this section comes into place, “time stops” during the period from which the Section comes into force (as appointed by the Minister) and ends on that date specified by Ministerial Order, which can be extended from time to time, but would be no later than 9 November 2020.

The key effects would be as follows:

  • Planning applications could be made but not finalised if the public consultation window has not already expired).  
  • Public consultation periods for appeals to An Bord Pleanala would be frozen. 
  • Time periods for enforcement deadlines would be frozen.

As with so much else at the moment, very necessary steps for now may nonetheless freeze certain activity or decisions for the future.

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