Press release

First day of new Planning and Environment Court

11th December 2023
Profile photo of Steven Matthews TD for Wicklow, trees in background

The ceremonial first sitting of the new Planning and Environment Division of the High Court took place today (December 11th) fulfilling a key Green Party commitment from the Programme for Government. This is a major reform that will allow planning law to operate in a more efficient and environmentally friendly manner.

Steven Matthews TD, Green Party Spokesperson for Planning and Local Government said;

“The commencement of a new court to deal with Planning and Environmental cases is another Green Party commitment in the Program for Government being delivered. This court is critically important for efficient and effective consideration of housing, transport and energy projects whilst ensuring fair and timely access to justice and environmental protection for all participants.”

Resources have been allocated to the new division and three judges have been appointed to deal with proceedings. The court will handle matters relating to strategic infrastructure and commercial planning and decisions involving EU and national environmental and planning legislation.

This is part of a wider reform of the planning system improve the planning process and ensure decisions are made with appropriate consideration of environmental factors.

Patrick Costello TD, Green Party Spokesperson on Justice said;

“The establishment of an environmental court is a key Green Party commitment in the Programme for Government and is to be welcomed. The existing system was not fit for purpose when discussing complex environmental cases. By removing such cases to their own bespoke court system this will enhance the High Court’s ability to dispense justice in an expedient manner.”

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