The Authority has specific planning responsibilities for parts of the Docklands area under special legislation - known as the Section 25 Planning Powers. The Authority produces "Planning Schemes" for designated areas through a public consultation process and endorsement by the Minister for the Environment Heritage & Local Government.
The preparation of the Docklands Master Plan and relevant Planning Schemes takes place over a 12 to 18 month period and involves extensive public consultation during that time. A Planning Scheme sets out detailed policies for specific areas in relation to land use mix, urban design, heights, densities, amenities and transportation. The effect of this provision is to eliminate uncertainty for both local community and developers and minimise delay in respect of developments requiring major public and/or private investment, when compared to the normal planning process.
The advantages of Section 25 Planning for developers includes:
- Much shorter lead times, in general, from conception to completion of a development.
- The confidence of an integrated and economically viable strategic approach to local development which ensures that local infrastructure issues as well as site specific issues are addressed.
- The generation of local commitment to and ownership of the development strategy through the prior community and business consultation process.
Applications for developments which comply with the relevant Planning Scheme area are granted a Section 25 Certificate as exempted development. Currently these Planning Scheme areas include the Custom House Dock (IFSC) Planning Scheme; the Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme; and the North Lotts Planning Scheme. A fourth Planning Scheme for the Poolbeg Peninsula area is currently at preparation stage.
Following a recent High Court judgment in relation to the Section 25 certification process that governs granting of exempted development status in the Docklands area, the Dublin Docklands Development Authority has completed an assessment of its planning procedures and introduced a number of amendments to the Section 25 process