The Office of the Planning Regulator has developed an online library – which makes a broad range of planning policy guidelines and research available in one central, accessible location – and a dedicated research and training page on its website.

The online library is located at:, while the research and training page is can be accessed at:

The Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) was established in April 2019 on foot of recommendations made by the Tribunal of Inquiry into Certain Planning Matters and Payments (the Mahon Tribunal).

Functioning and policy consistency of planning process

The OPR is an independent oversight body that was established by government to oversee the functioning and policy consistency of Ireland’s planning process to ensure quality outcomes in relation to proper planning and sustainable development.
The Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018 established the legal basis for the OPR and outlines its role and functions, which include the following: 

  • Assessment of local authority county/city development plans and local area plans, and regional assembly regional spatial and economic strategies to ensure consistency with relevant regional or national policies;
  • Reviews of the systems and procedures used by any planning authority, including An Bord Pleanála, in the performance of their planning functions; and
  • Research, training and education programmes that support the progressive development of Ireland’s planning process.

Further information in relation to the work of the OPR is contained in its annual report which was recently published and is accessible via the following link.

Online Planning Library

The OPR has in place an online planning library facility. The benefit of this library is that it makes a broad range of planning policy guidelines and research available in one central, accessible location at this link

Additional developments are planned for the planning library. Among them is the inclusion of a planning glossary and acronym list. This will clarify specific terms and phrases that non-planning disciplines may not be familiar with.

Professionals from different fields involved in the development, design, planning and construction of our villages, cities and towns often have different interpretations of certain terms.

The inclusion of a glossary and acronym list will help ensure clarity. It will also assist anyone with an interest in planning but who is not familiar with the language or terminology of the sector. 

New material is regularly uploaded to the planning library meaning it is up to date with new research and recent findings. It is hoped that the planning library will become a well-used and valuable resource for all those with an interest in the planning sector. 

Research and training 

The OPR has recently published a dedicated research and training page on its website. The aim of the page is to provide both planning and non-planning professionals with a wide-ranging, up-to-date facility where they can access information relevant to their areas of work, study or research. The page is accessible at this link.
This page hosts the following: 

  • The OPR’s online planning library which contains a comprehensive spectrum of planning related resources such as circulars for planning authorities, guidelines for planning authorities, policy reports and policy directives for planning authorities
  • All of the material from the councillor training events that the OPR is running in conjunction with the Association of Irish Local Government (including copies of all of the presentations and information packs);
  • Output from the OPR’s research programme including items relating to planning issues, planning performance and planning practice.