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Evidence Based Planning:
Councillors & Decision Makingthe Role of the Evidence Base
Deirdre Scully, BA, MRUP, MA, MIPI
Senior Planner, Dublin City Council
Legislative Framework
2010 Planning Act- framing clear linkages and
integration between national-regional-county-local.
Changing content of Development Plan
longer, new guidance to incorporate, greater number
of issues addressed, clearer identification of policies
and objectives
Increasing new Directives impacting on planning process
SEA, AA, Flooding, Water Framework,
Greater Dublin Area Regional Planning Guidelines - Images
Role of Development Plan
Deliver Core Strategy (focussed on housing provision)
Set out Retail Strategy
Identify key infrastructure investments needed (linkage
to Water Services Investment Programme)
Economic Strategy (from regional policy)
Transport policy in keeping with NTA
Alongside rural housing, environmental targets,
landscape assessment, schools & health policies
The Development Plan coalescences a range of
issues impacting on communities and the
environment and looks to give spatial expression to
these at a local county level.
Fingal County Council
Dublin City Council
Where’s the Evidence?
NSS & RPGs- new in Irish planning plan cycle;
creating a nationally adopted coordinated
approach to planning for new populations
National Development Plan, NTA/T21 & WSIPsclarity on where infrastructure is/will be going
Designated areas/places for protection- natura,
built heritage, protected landscapes
River Basin Management Plans, water source
protection plans
Decisions now made within a framework
Key Inputs into Decision Making
Flood risk
Population demand
Economic Requirements
Government Guidance
Proofing- Rural, Disability,
Poverty, Language…
Are we yet costing decisions on zoning
and policies fully from an economic,
environmental and social cost ?
Are all decisions made fully informed?
EU Directives
National Policy
Regional Policy
Local Business
Extract of DoEHLG Guidance on
Development Plans (page 77)
Councillors & Decision Making
Challenge of focusing limited growth- in era of
emigration- can core strategies bite the bullet
Necessity to look at Cost Benefit Analysis
approach to achieve sustainable solutions
Role of SEA in plan decision making- is it failing
to achieve its primary goal?
How can executive assist councillors both to
deliver an “evidence-based” plan and also
recognise community issues?

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