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The Large-Scale Residential Development (LRD) Process explained

The new Large-Scale Residential Development (LRD) Process came into effect on the 17th December 2021 bringing to an end its much-debated predecessor the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme which commenced in 2016. The primary aim of the SHD process was to fast-track planning applications for developments of over 100 residential units or 200 student bed spaces.  While the primary aim of the LRD process remains the same as the SHD process, the major difference is that such applications will now be considered by the relevant Local Authority first rather than SHD applications which were lodged directly to An Bord Pleanála.


The LRD process can be broken into four distinct steps as follows:

I. Pre-Application (Section 247) Consultation with Planning Authority

8-week period of consultation with the relevant council.

II. LRD meeting with the Planning Authority and LRD Opinion

After the pre-application consultation, an LRD Meeting which is required to obtain an “LRD Opinion” concludes if “the proposal constitutes a reasonable basis for submitting an LRD planning application”.

III. LRD Application is Lodged

This must be done within 6 months of receiving the LRD Opinion.

IV. Decision

After the application is lodged the relevant Local Authority has 8 weeks to make a decision.


Following the decision of the Local Authority a right of appeal to An Bord Pleanála is available.

It is hoped that the reintroduction of the initial observation to the Local Authority and the subsequent appeal stage to An Bord Pleanála will help to reduce the large number of Judicial Review cases which have become prevalent in recent years.  Furthermore, the initial consultations at local level should tease out contentious issues early in the application process.  However, it remains to be seen at this early stage of the LRD scheme whether or not the revised process will result in lower levels of Judicial Reviews and assist with the delivery of much needed residential developments.


Author:                Ronan Lavelle, Surveyor, Bannon

Date:                    13th June 2022