An Taisce condemns the abhorrent behaviour alleged to have occurred in reporting by RTÉ Investigates on planning appeals being withdrawn for cash payments.  

As a prescribed consultee, An Taisce has a statutory role in the planning process. We are keenly aware of the responsibility that comes with that status, and seek at all times to act in a professional manner to ensure that planning observations and appeals are made in the public interest and are well founded in science, sustainable planning principles, and the law.  

The reported behaviour of these individuals is a slap in the face to all of those working honestly to ensure planning in Ireland is done in the best interests of our communities and our environment. But this behaviour must be seen for what it is, malicious, deviant interference which does not reflect the vast majority of observations and appeals which are taken in good faith.  

Public participation in the planning system is a key part of our democracy. It is unethical and immoral for anyone to seek to abuse those participative mechanisms for personal gain. Behaviour such as that which allegedly occurred undermines the critical work done by the public and by legitimate NGOs in highlighting legitimate planning concerns and in drawing attention to areas where planning applications and decisions could be strengthened in the interests of sustainable planning.