The 7th Schedule to the 2000 Act (as amended) lists the classes of infrastructure development which, if considered by the Board to be strategic infrastructure development, require direct application for permission to the Board instead of the local planning authority. To qualify as strategic infrastructure development a proposed development must first come within the scope of one or more of the classes and comply with the thresholds contained in the 7th Schedule. Secondly, the Board must come to the opinion that the proposed development, would meet one or more of the following criteria:-
- is of strategic economic or social importance to the State or the region in which it would be situate,
- would contribute substantially to the fulfillment of any of the objectives of the National Planning Framework or in any regional spatial and economic strategy in respect of the area or areas in which the development would be situate,
- would have a significant effect on the area of more than one planning authority.
This opinion is formally given by the Board at the conclusion of the pre-application consultation stage following a request for closure of the consultations from the prospective applicant.