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Irish Planning Institute Elects New President

The Irish Planning Institute (IPI), the all-island professional membership organisation for spatial planners, has elected Gavin Lawlor MIPI as its new President for 2024-2025.

A Director at Tom Phillips + Associates, Gavin will lead 1,000 professional planners across Ireland, as the Institute celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2025.

Brian McCarthy MIPI, Senior Planner with Clare County Council, has been elected as the Vice President of the Institute.

Speaking following his election as the Institute’s 35th President, Mr Lawlor set out his priorities for his term of office.

“It is an honour to have been elected by my peers as the President of the Irish Planning Institute for the next two years. For planners across the country the months ahead will be critical as the Planning and Development Bill is set to be debated and finalised by the Oireachtas.

“The proposed changes will have significant implications, not only for the planning profession but, for all of society for years to come by helping to establish a planning system that is better equipped to deal with the challenges posed by climate change and our growing population.

“It is imperative that Government listen to the views of planning practitioners who will be interpreting this legislation to ensure that it is fit for purpose and serves the interests everyone who depends upon it in communities across Ireland, both urban and rural.

“With planners playing a critical role in the roll out and application of these reforms, it is a priority of mine and the Institute that our members are supported with information, training and advice to ensure the seamless delivery and implementation of the new legislation.

“However, there remains an ongoing issue of resourcing within the planning system that must be addressed. Support and investment from Government is urgently required if we are to make the sort of progress needed to transform society and support the delivery of prosperous and sustainable communities.

“This underlines the centrality of planning to all sectors of our economy and society including the delivery of housing and the infrastructure critical to sustainable development and achieving our climate goals.

“While it is imperative that greater efficiencies are found in the planning system through innovation, it is also the case that hundreds of additional planners are required in the coming years.

“My tenure will also place an emphasis on efforts to recruit these planners and secure more training places for those seeking to explore planning as a career, addressing the current resource gap and preparing the profession for years to come.”

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