An Taisce has had a prescribed role in the planning process in Ireland since its introduction in 1963. The prescribed functions for our organisation are set out primarily in the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended and enforced through the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, as amended. The word “prescribed”, as interpreted in the Planning and Development Act, means 'prescribed by regulations made by the Minister and “prescribe” shall be construed accordingly'. Put simply, the Planning and Development Act puts forward where prescribed bodies should be notified or referred to, however, the Planning and Development Regulations states individually which specific prescribed bodies are being referred to, as there are several such bodies which are only concerned with specific forms of development only. With regard to this, An Taisce for example is only prescribed to be referred in general, planning applications for the development of a dwelling in an Area of Special Amenity, whereas a case to this regard would not be referred to the Irish Aviation Authority, as it does not necessarily impact on an airport or flight path.
The prescribed functions can be divided into two elements:
- Development Plans and Guidelines
- Planning Applications for Development
Additionally, An Taisce is a statutory consultee in the forestry consent system under Environmental Impact Assessment (Amendment) Regulations 2001 (S.I. No 538 of 2001). Forestry in Ireland operates within a number of relevant Irish and European legal and regulatory frameworks. The Forest Consent System is the licensing system for Afforestation which, in theory, incorporates all relevant legal and policy requirements relating to afforestation in Ireland. The forest consent system is run by the Forest Service, part of the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Food, to regulate land afforestation. Applications for afforestation are governed since 10 December 2001 by the provisions of Statutory Instrument 538 of 2001, European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations, 2001. Part 5 lays down the forest consent system. The forest consent system is closely linked with the administration of grant aid for landowners planting up new forests, and is used by the Forest Service as a mechanism toward the implementation of Sustainable Forest Management principles for grant aided afforestation.
- Forestry Consent System