A one-day conference


Date: 9th September 2020

Planning in Ireland has always been a contentious issue, with Ireland set to see a major increase in population growth over the next 10 to 20 years it will bring important opportunities as well as significant challenges. Now is the time to prepare and establish how our towns and cities can become more productive and efficient while improving the quality of life. In April 2019 Ireland became one of the first countries in Europe to set up an independent planning regulator, its role will be discussed on the day as well as Transport Strategies, Gentrification, Population Projections and meeting the demands for Housing and infrastructure.

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Full Day Programme


Conference Chairperson & Opening Remarks

Speaker: Carol Tallon, Strategic Planning Director (MPRII) with Property District and author of several books on Irish housing

  • Likely Impacts of Covid-19 on Ireland’s Planning Process?
  • Gentrification and Designing High Density Residential Complexes for Sustainable Living
  • Population Projection- Delivering housing need and demand assessment-Project 2040
  • The Sky’s the limit – Are their plans to build higher to allow for compact growth plans and high density cities?
9.45 Introduction to the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR)

Speaker: Joanna McBride, OPR Director for Research, Training and Corporate Services / Gary Ryan, OPR Director for Planning Reviews and Examinations

  • Context for and establishment of the Office of the Planning Regulator
  • Building knowledge and creating awareness
  • Evaluation of statutory plans in the context of the National Planning Framework
  • Reviews of planning authority systems and procedures
10.15 Planning & Development Reflecting – Compact growth – Sustainable Development – Climate Change Issues

Speaker: Rachel Kenny, Director of Planning, An Bord Pleanála

  • Delivering sustainable planning and development through the implementation of national policies including Climate Change.
  • Lessons of Strategic Housing Development in delivering practical examples of ‘compact growth’, ‘sustainable development’ and addressing ‘climate change issues’,
  • Strategic Infrastructure Development and Climate Action considerations.
11.00 Tea/Coffee Break 
11.15 Transport Strategies and Implementation Plans – Covid-19 effects on transport planning

Speaker: Eoin Farrell, Senior Land Use & Transport Planner, National Transport Authority

  • NTA’s role in Transport Planning
  • NTA’s approach to developing Transport Strategies
  • Integration of Transport Strategies with the planning system
  • Approach to the implementation of Transport Strategies
  • NTA Covid-19 responses and effects on transport planning
11.45 Regional Spatial & Economic Strategies- Next Steps.

Speaker: Malachy Bradley, Eastern & Midland Regional Assembly

  • What is included within the RSES
  • How EMRA is approaching implementation
  • The Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan and delivery
12.15 Did you know the funding & financing opportunities available to you?

Speaker: Ms. Eileen Crowley, External Expert, European Commission

  • EU funding in context
  • Taking a strategic approach +
  • Some examples of what can be achieved
  • Broad overview of what EU funding can do for you

Group Q&A

1.00 Lunch 
1.30 Remote Working, Enterprise Hubs and the Atlantic Economic Corridor initiative

Speaker: Deirdre Frost, Policy Analyst/ Digiwest Project Manager, Western Development Commission

  • Remote working – the incidence & extent of the practice, Benefits and Government Policy
  • The role of digital enterprise hubs in supporting remote work and supporting Government policy
  • How remote working and hubs are a key aspect of the Government’s policy the Atlantic Economic Corridor initiative (Project Ireland 2040), which comprises 10 Local Authorities from Donegal to Kerry.
2.00 National Marine Planning Framework

Speaker: Tom Woolley, Marine Planning Advisor, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG)

2.30 Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED)

Speaker: Inspector Barry Mills, Garda Community Engagement & Public Safety Bureau, (Garda National Crime Prevention Unit)

  • Crime Prevention Principles
  • Designing out crime and crime generating factors in the built environment and appropriate physical security.
  • How can proper design and effective use of the built environment lead to a reduction in the fear and incidence of crime and an improvement in quality of life.
3.00 Discussion – Assessing Flood Risk, Contaminated Land, EIA / AA issues

Speaker: Brendan Slattery, Partner, McCann Fitzgerald

3.15 Group Q&A
3.30 Conference Close 


This conference content and advice will relate to all involved directly or indirectly in the planning process, from public to private sector, including planners, environmental consultants, legal professionals, property professionals, local authority executives, government departments, semi-state agencies, contractors, developers, architects, and universities.

Inspector Barry MillsInspector Barry Mills

Chief Crime Prevention Officer, An Garda Síochána

A native of County Carlow, Barry has a Masters in Human Resource Management, Degrees in Software Engineering and Policing. Barry has worked in regular policing, Garda Professional Standards Unit, Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and his current role as Crime Prevention Officer within the Garda Community Engagement & Public Safety Bureau.

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Barry has been involved in a number of strategic initiatives within an Garda Síochána, working with the Department of Social Protection, drafting a Code of Practice for the DNA Database, preparing Ireland for its Mutual Evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force in 2017, work on partnerships engaged with by An Garda Síochána as part of the Commission for the Future of Policing in Ireland and recent work on oversight and applications for Community and Garda CCTV authorisations throughout the country.

Carol TallonCarol Tallon

CEO, Property District

Carol Tallon, CEO of communications agency Property District, specialises in Public Consultation for urban development.

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With more than 15 years across the planning, construction, property and proptech sectors, Carol has worked with government departments, industry representatives, developers, construction companies, auctioneering firms and media outlets. Carol and the Property District team are currently rolling out Ireland’s virtual town hall – PLACEengage.com.

Rachel KennyRachel Kenny

Director of Planning at An Bord Pleanála

Rachel graduated from UCD with a Bachelors of (Civil) Engineering and Masters in Regional and Urban Planning. She is currently Director of Planning Operations with An Bord Pleanála. Rachel’s an experienced Planning Director with a demonstrated history working in the planning and development industry.

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Having worked in senior planning and management roles for over twenty years in various planning authorities, An Bord Pleanála and in the private sector, she has extensive Urban Planning, Strategic Planning, Leadership, and Project Planning expertise. As well as being an active member of the Irish Planning Institute, Rachel is currently Chair of the Management Board for the National Biodiversity Data Centre, having previously been a member of Comhar, the National Partnership for Sustainable Development.

Eileen CrowleyEileen Crowley

External Expert, European Commission

Eileen Crowley is a planner specialised in regional and strategic planning and development and a project designer.

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Her work concentrates on identifying, developing and converting opportunities for regional development solutions into funded implementable projects as well as managing the design, the implementation and the funding of European projects. Eileen is an experienced external expert and evaluator for the European Commission. She has spent 16 years working in local & regional government, three years in academia and she has founded Ascent Creative Consulting, specializing in development grant preparation, management, facilitation & evaluation. Currently, Eileen is the Lead Expert for the URBACT Resourceful Cities Action Planning Network.

Gary RyanGary Ryan

Director of Planning Reviews and Examinations, Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR)

Gary is the Director of Planning Reviews and Examinations, at the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR), responsible for developing and implementing the OPR’s programme of reviews of the systems and procedures used by the State’s 31 local authorities, and An Bord Pleanála, in the performance of their planning functions.
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Gary also oversees the OPR’s complaint handling function whereby complaints from the public regarding local authorities’ planning systems and procedures may be examined.

Prior to the OPR, Gary worked for 18 years in the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government, most recently progressing the Planning & Development (Amendment) Act 2018, which provided for the establishment of the OPR, through the Houses of the Oireachtas. Previous roles included the delivery of a broad range of measures to enhance homeless services nationally, the administration of the social housing capital investment programme – including the Ballymun and Limerick Regeneration initiatives – and implementing the urban and town renewal schemes. Gary also worked for a number of years in the Department’s Press and Communications Office.

In addition to a MA in Town and Country Planning, Gary holds a BA in Geography and Sociology and an Advanced Diploma in Environmental and Planning Law.

Joanna McBrideJoanna McBride

OPR Director for Research, Training and Corporate Services

Joanna is the Director of Research, Training and Corporate Services and is responsible for the Office’s statutory functions in relation to planning research, training and public awareness and oversees the corporate affairs of the organisation, inter alia, finance, HR and corporate governance.

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Prior to joining the Office of the Planning Regulator, Joanna had worked in a variety of senior financial and corporate roles within the public and private sectors. These included multinational corporations, a higher education institution and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris.

Most recently, Joanna led the corporate establishment of the OPR as part of her role in the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and, in her prior positions, she led a change management project in a higher education institution, managed financial reporting in the private sector and worked on projects funded by the European Commission.

Joanna is a qualified accountant and a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and also holds an Advanced Diploma in Environmental and Planning Law from the Honorable Society of King’s Inn.

Tom WoolleyTom Woolley

Planning Advisor

Tom Woolley is Marine Planning Advisor to the Government of Ireland’s Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) based in Dublin.

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Tom joined DHPLG in 2019 and is currently involved in development of Ireland’s first national marine spatial plan, the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF), as well as related implementation work. Holding degrees in Marine Biology and Coastal Management, Tom began his career working in government relations in London where he was involved with work including bioenergy and tidal power, first at the Royal Society of Biology then in the third sector. In 2010 Tom joined the Marine Management Organisation in Newcastle where he helped establish England’s marine planning system and the UK’s first marine plans. Tom has in-depth experience of all phases of the marine plan development cycle including evidence gathering and management, stakeholder engagement (including transboundary engagement), issues identification, assessments (e.g. SEA), options / alternatives development, policy design, implementation, monitoring and reporting.

Eoin FarrellEoin Farrell

Senior Land Use & Transport Planner

Eoin Farrell is a Senior Land Use & Transport Planner working for the National Transport Authority (NTA).

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Eoin has worked on a range of plans and projects at European, National and Local level, notably the transport strategies for Dublin and Galway cities. Eoin is involved in the development and implementation of NTA transport policy, and is currently the lead land use planner on the BusConnects Dublin project, which will provide a new bus network for Dublin City and Environs. Eoin has also guest lectured in land use and transportation planning at Trinity College, Dublin, and is a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

There will be CPD certificates awarded to attendees at this conference. Please check directly with your association or awarding body to see how many points they will award.


Early Bird Rate – €435+VAT per person

Normal Rate @ €495 + VAT.

Please note the early bird discount can close sooner than expected once a certain number of seats fill up, therefore your prompt booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment

CMG Events Conference Discount

  • 10% discount for the third delegate booked or subsequent bookings thereafter from the same company.

You will receive the speakers PowerPoint presentations within 24 hours after the event. 

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Early Bird Rate 1 = €435.00 + VAT per person - Normal rate €535.00 + VAT

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