MSc Planning and Development

Developing Policy Guidelines for Planning Authorities in the Republic of Ireland

  • Unit(s) of assessment: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
  • Research theme: Sustainable Futures
  • School: School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment


The Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 introduced important new legal requirements for planning authorities. These legal requirements ensure that both existing and future local area plans comply with new core strategies incorporated into city and county development plans. There have been several instances where coordination between different local areas master plans was overlooked. This resulted in the duplication of services, commercial outlets and the oversupply of residential provision.

Addressing the Challenge

These new core strategies establish an evidential base for the zoning of land at national, regional, and local levels through the quantification of need and the requirements to align the quantity of land to be zoned for developments - especially for residential purposes - between plans at national, regional and local levels.

In collaboration with the Irish government’s Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DEHLG) and Loci Consultants, Professor Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem led a team to review and edit the Local Area Plans: Guidelines for Planning Authorities. They also authored the best practice manual that gives exemplar procedures, processes and case studies that local planners can follow in their planning exercises.


Professor Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem is Chair in Architecture at the School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment at Nottingham Trent University. He is contributing to teaching Architecture courses and supervision of PGR students.

At Nottingham Trent University, Gamal is leading the development of the University’s Innovative ‘Global Centre on Heritage Sciences and Management Research’, a research team that aims to engage with and produce strategic research projects with evident global impact on improving Heritage Conservation and preservation strategies on the international and cross boundary levels. His world leading research is currently leading partnerships and consortium teams that include several American, British, European and Middle Eastern Universities and research organisations, and specialist industries.

Making a Difference

This project aimed to study the evolution and development of spatial planning and urban design in Ireland's urban landscape. It offered guidance and principles for preparing local area plans for Irish cities. The project analysed the current urban conditions, problems, and challenges that emerged from disorganised planning processes. This resulted in the overloading of infrastructure and the oversupply of housing and commercial services in different local authorities.

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