Gavin Lawlor Elected 35th President of Irish Planning Institute, Outlines Vision for Planning Reforms

Gavin Lawlor MIPI, a seasoned professional with nearly three decades of experience, has been elected as the 35th President of the Irish Planning Institute (IPI), 2024-2025.

As the IPI commemorates its 50th anniversary next year, Lawlor, a Director at Tom Phillips + Associates, assumes leadership over 1,000 professional planners across Ireland. He emphasizes the critical role of planners in shaping a resilient planning system amid the impending Planning and Development Bill.

Gavin Lawlor, with almost 30 years of planning experience, steps into the role of IPI President with a clear vision for the future. As the Planning and Development Bill takes centre stage in the Oireachtas, Lawlor underscores its significance in addressing climate change and accommodating a growing population. In his statement, Lawlor asserts, “The proposed changes will have significant implications, not only for the planning profession but for all of society for years to come.”

“It is an honour to have been elected by my peers as the President of the Irish Planning Institute for the next two years. For planners across the country, the months ahead will be critical as the Planning and Development Bill is set to be debated and finalised by the Oireachtas.”

Highlighting the need for collaboration between the government and planning practitioners, Lawlor stresses the importance of considering the views of those who will interpret and implement the legislation. He states, “It is imperative that Government listen to the views of planning practitioners who will be interpreting this legislation to ensure that it is fit for purpose and serves the interests of everyone who depends upon it in communities across Ireland, both urban and rural.”

Lawlor’s presidency will focus on providing support to IPI members through information, training, and advice, ensuring a smooth implementation of the new legislation. He recognizes the ongoing issue of resourcing within the planning system and calls for urgent government support and investment. “Support and investment from the Government are urgently required if we are to make the sort of progress needed to transform society and support the delivery of prosperous and sustainable communities,” says Lawlor.

As part of his tenure, Lawlor emphasizes efforts to address the resource gap by recruiting more planners and securing additional training places. He states, “My tenure will also place an emphasis on efforts to recruit these planners and secure more training places for those seeking to explore planning as a career, addressing the current resource gap and preparing the profession for years to come.”

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