Tipperary County Council has, today, welcomed the publication of the Office of the Planning Regulators (OPR) Review of Systems and Procedures in the performance of the Council`s Planning functions. The OPR has recently commenced a programme of reviews of the planning services of all local authorities across the country that will take place over a six-year cycle. Tipperary County Council sought to be included in the pilot phase of this review programme.
The OPR reviews programme is intended as a resource for the planning sector identifying good practice and achievements and promoting learning between local authorities, as well as highlighting areas that may be in need of improvement. The OPR considered Tipperary County Council as very suitable for inclusion in the pilot phase of the programme given the location of the county straddling both the south-east and mid-west parts of the Southern Regional Assembly area, the variety of urban and rural contexts, the re-organisation arising from the merger of North and South Tipperary County Councils and the Council`s reputation for innovation in service delivery issues such as the current piloting of the national e-Planning initiative. The Council recognised the benefits of a review of our current planning functions and the opportunity to future proof our service delivery and to further develop the continuous improvement culture in the organisation. The publication of the OPR review report of Tipperary County Council’s planning service and the recommendations made by the OPR will be of assistance to us in developing our strategic vision, systems, structures and work programmes for the coming years
The OPR report acknowledged that the Council`s planning service is operating effectively with robust systems and procedures in place to deliver statutory planning functions. In some areas of performance, highly effective practice was demonstrated. The report includes a number of recommendations designed to assist the Council`s planning department to continue operating in the face of ongoing and likely future additional demands or to enhance service delivery. The review notes that the Council`s Planning department “benefits from clear leadership, a structured corporate approach and the commitment and talent of individual staff. These factors have allowed the department to develop and implement good systems and procedures to guide its operational processes and to monitor and evaluate outputs”.
The report concluded that Tipperary County Council’s planning department operates in a complex and demanding environment. Despite the challenges and pressures under which it operates, the planning department is generally delivering all of our statutory planning functions effectively which is demonstrated throughout the review. The independent review found that the planning department has many considerable strengths and it can reinforce and enhance that strong competency base by implementing the various recommendations proposed in the report.
To ensure that the benefits and opportunities of the review report are realised, Tipperary County Council is committed to developing a robust Implementation Plan through the establishment of a cross-directorate working group together with positive engagement with the OPR and other national bodies to fully implement the findings and recommendations of this first review report by the OPR.
For further information, contact
A/Director of Services- Planning & Water Services
Tipperary County Council
Note for information of Editor:
The Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) was established by the Oireachtas in 2019 for a number of purposes including independently overseeing the delivery by planning authorities of planning services to the public. The OPR has statutory power under the Planning and Development Acts to review the systems and procedures used by local authorities and An Bord Pleanála in performing their planning functions. In their Statement of Strategy 2019-2024, the OPR has committed to implementing a programme of reviews over a six-year cycle – every local authority in the country is being reviewed in respect of their systems and procedures over this six year timeframe.