James O Donnell, Principal, Planning Consultancy Services

James O’ Donnell BA, MRUP, DipAPM has the benefit of over 20 years planning experience in both the public and private sector. This has provided him with an excellent and well-rounded working knowledge of planning law and planning practice in Ireland.

His own business ‘Planning Consultancy Services’ was established in July 2009 and represents a dynamic and personalised planning service that guides respective clients thorough all types of planning issues as they arise. James qualified with a Masters in Town Planning in UCD in 1999 and a Diploma in Applied Project Management (UCC) in 2008.
In both the public and private sector his planning experience has been spread across a range of environments, he has therefore the benefit of transferable planning skills and expertise.
His public sector experience consisted of 6 years as a planning officer with Galway County Council, which culminated in the rank of Acting Senior Executive Planner. In the Council he was primarily responsible for the adjudication of complex planning applications all over the County as well as Development Plan/Policy Formulation. He gained extensive Community Planning experience in the preparation of Local Area Plans (8 no. Local Area Plan’s in County Galway alone), which were prepared in consultation with local community groups. His work in the public sector has provided him with excellent consultation experience as well as a practical understanding of Planning Law and the Irish Planning System.

In addition, he has gained over 11 years experience in the private sector.
This includes 4 years experience with a large consultancy firm. In the private sector, he worked as the lead planning consultant and project manager on many major projects, from inception to completion.
He set up his own business – Planning Consultancy Services- in July 2009, and has been operating as a freelance planning consultant ever since. He deals with planning authorities nationwide, and this has provided him with a working rapport with planning and council officials.
He has extensive experience with a wide range of projects from Development Plans to significant residential, retail, solar farm, wind farm, commercial, educational and community led developments from inception to completion. He has the benefit of ‘hands on’ project management experience of multi-disciplinary teams. In particular, his close working relationships with a wide a range of architects, engineers and environmental consultants has provided him with a key insight into developing design solutions that satisfy planning requirements and secure planning permission.

James has project managed and provided planning advice at all stages in the life cycle of a development project. These stages include:

  • Site Selection,
  • Development Potential Assessment (including Planning Searches and Legislative requirements),
  • Co-ordination of Environmental Impact Statements,
  • Input into Design process,
  • Planning appraisals of Development Proposals,
  • Preparation and Lodgement of planning applications,
  • Compilation of appeals and
  • Compliance with planning conditions attached to planning permission