Irish Planning System Ireland's planning system was introduced on the 1 October 1964, when the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1963 came into effect. The large body of planning legislation in the years since then, reflects the expansion of the statutory development control system to meet the demands arising from economic growth, rising public concern in the area of environmental control, a desire on the part of the public for a statutory and independent planning appeals system, and a growing European dimension arising from our membership of the European Union. Ireland is also one of the few European countries that has an independent third party planning appeals system. It is operated byAn Bord Pleanála (external link) (the Planning Appeals Board). The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government is responsible for developing planning policy and legislation. The physical planning system in Ireland is operated on the ground by 88 local planning authorities: 29 County Councils, 5 County Borough Corporations, 5 Borough Corporations and 49 Town Councils. Decisions of the planning authorities can, for the most part, be appealed to An Bord Pleanála, the planning appeals board. The Department is precluded from any interference in these decisions. The main features of the planning system are: making development plans the need for planning permission exempted development appeals against planning decisions planning enforcement Source: http://www.environ.ie/en/DevelopmentHousing/PlanningDevelopment/Planning/Overview/ http://www.gov.ie/en/ - to access the government of Ireland portal. http://www.environ.ie/en/ -to access the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, which is responsible for the national administration of the planning service, planning legislation and policy development.