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SID: Oral hearings and meetings

This page explains when oral hearing and meetings are held in strategic infrastructure development cases.

Oral hearings

The Board has the power to hold an oral hearing with or without a request for one. In some cases, the Board may consider that the issues involved in the case can be adequately and appropriately assessed by way of written observations and submissions.

The applicant and any person who makes submissions to An Bord Pleanála about the application can request an oral hearing. If you have paid the application fee or €50 fee to make an observation there is no additional fee to request an oral hearing.

If the Board decides to hold an oral hearing:

  • we will write to all participants in the case about the arrangements for the oral hearing.
  • we will publish on our website details about the oral hearing and the agenda.

At an oral hearing, the inspector’s powers include:

  • running the oral hearing efficiently and without unnecessary formality
  • limiting the time which any person may make points or arguments
  • refusing to allow a point or argument which is not relevant to the oral hearing or that is repeating items already mentioned.
  • allowing or refusing someone to make an observation at the oral hearing that has not already done so during the time period that observations could be made to An Bord Pleanála.
Our oral hearings guide gives information about:
  • how you can prepare before the oral hearing,
  • who attends an oral hearing,
  • what happens at a typical oral hearing, and
  • what happens afterwards.

Limited agenda oral hearings

The Board can decide that due to the issues involved with the proposed development that a “limited agenda” oral hearing takes place. This may be based on a recommendation by the inspector who will be in charge of the oral hearing. If a limited agenda oral hearing takes place, it will focus only on the issues contained within the limited agenda.

If the Board decides to not hold an oral hearing or an oral hearing with a limited agenda, if you have made a written observation your views will still be heard as the Board considers all the written observations we have received about the application. The observations will be considered by the inspector in their assessment of the application and by the Board when making its decision.


The Board may also hold a meeting with the applicant or any other person the Board considers has relevant information about the case. The Board may decide to hold an oral hearing and a meeting in the same case. A meeting can be called and held either before or after an oral hearing.

Only the Board can call a meeting. It is not possible for an applicant or an observer to request a meeting.

Please note that oral hearings can take place online using Microsoft Teams. To find out how to attend a meeting or oral hearing via Microsoft Teams, please see our guidance page.