Sorry, I amn't even able to quote, never mind break quotes up!
All party direct consultation could certainly be useful, but would developers actually go with an open mind, or just see it as an opportunity to explain the benefits of their development to third parties? That reminded me of Shirley Arnheim's seminal Ladder of Participation article - available online if anyone is interested.
Introducing a locus standii
would bring its own problems - what if you work beside a development site in Leixlip, but live in Carlow? What about something like a national football stadium, would that be open to the nation, or only the immediate neighbours? If you live in Cork, are you allowed to make submissions on developments in Heuston Station? Do you have in mind a situation like they have in New Zealand?
Do people living in Clare object to back garden extensions on the north circular? I know they're legally entitled to, but is it common enough to merit legislating for? "Hard cases makes bad law", as the man said.
I suppose AT, like the NRA, Bord Failte, etc, have rights over and above the rest of us because they're a national special interest group.
I completely agree with you that now is the time to be thinking about reform of the planning system. I'd like to see local government reform too, I think it's long overdue, and I think they go hand in hand. I just think that because the system was so overwhelmed and under-resourced over the past few years, that imposing a time limit then would have been a mistake, as ABP is the 'court of last resort' for most developments, I was happy (well, happy's not the word for it, but resigned) to let them take as long as it took.
What do you think about the systems that use a more defined and definitive development plan, to have a lot of the basic decisions made before you get to development control stage, do you think that would have benefits?
BTW, have you used two different measures for the slowness of the Board, or did I pick that up wrong? In February 2009, it was an average length of time taken (28 weeks), and in February 2010 it was the percentage of appeals which took more than the objective of 18 weeks (50%). Do you have the corresponding figures to hand to make direct comparisons? They must be catching up a bit, surely.