Digital Programme

Local authorities develop programmes to promote the use of digital technologies to improve service delivery, policy and engagement with communities.


Public consultation is an integral element of many planning and economic development functions including part of the County Development Plan / Local Area Plan review processes, Part 8 developments, consultations for various projects including funding calls, URDF Projects, Town and Village Renewal, online surveys etc. There is now an emphasis on consultations taking place in a more open and transparent form with an increasing focus on providing more interactive and accessible platforms. To facilitate generation of reports, together with engagement and representation of consultation outcomes, graphic tools are recommended to illustrate, monitor and interpret data.

To address these issues, Carlow County Council added an online consultation portal which accepts online submission to its website in May 2020. The portal is a cloud-based platform which facilitates open, interactive and transparent public consultations in an accessible format (desktop and mobile devices). The portal enables the publication of a range of consultation types including themes / questions, surveys or comment on consultation documents. The portal allows more effective use of internal resources, provides a professional and accessible interface to engage with our customers and will facilitate mandatory compliance with statutory requirements and deadlines (e.g making available submissions on line within 10 days of receipt, making available documents and reports for Part 8’s etc). The approach is also in line with recent advice contained in the Communications Toolkit on Engagement in Local Authority Development Plans as issued by the Office of the Planning Regulator (May 2020)


It is Government policy to provide an ePlanning solution in Local Authorities in a way that integrates with electronic systems which are being implemented in An Bord Pleanala. Since early 2016 an e-Planning project board has been in place consisting of Local Authority staff, LGMA, An Bord Pleanala and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH) and is focused on delivering the necessary Scanning and Technology requirements. It will develop the changes necessary to the relevant processes, workflow and change management. It will also implement the required changes to Legislation and Data Protection laws. The National e-Planning Portal Project facilitates:

• The standardising of all documentation in Local Authorities and An Bord Pleanala

• Provide a web portal through which all electronic planning applications and all correspondence regarding same will pass.

• Provide for all submissions to be made on-line for both planning applications and Part 8 submissions

• Facilitates payment of fees online by means of card payment or EFT

• Part 8 applications for all Local Authorities will be submitted and stored centrally

• Referrals to all Prescribed Bodies and the receipt of their submissions electronically

 • Electronic transfer of planning files to An Bord Pleanala following an appeal The portal will interface with the Carlow County Council planning system and document management system. All planning applications received electronically will be processed electronically, with subsequent communications sent by email. It will provide an enhanced digital service to our customers by

• Allowing online application submissions

• Allowing agents to build their application before submission

• Reduce or eliminate copying and scanning of documentation

• Facilitates electronic interaction between Local Authorities, An Bord Pleanala and Prescribed Bodies

• Reduced paper consumption, helping fulfil our environmental commitments.