Telephone: (+353) 01 662 5803
39 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2, D02 ND61

What we do

JSA are a leading planning and development consultancy firm and offer services in a wide variety of different types of planning projects throughout Ireland.

On all major projects we often act as overall project co-ordinator and managers for the planning phase. As a result we have developed a strong project management expertise.

We believe that our role as planning consultants, our multidisciplinary knowledge and our strategic approach is best suited to this task and, in our experience, delivers the best results for our clients.

The services we offer include the following:

services overview


Environmental Impact Statements

JSA have considerable experience in preparing, managing and coordinating environmental impact statements (EIS) to support a wide range of planning applications including major urban and rural development projects, and infrastructure projects.

Development Plans / Local Area Plans/ Masterplanning

Over the past decade JSA have established a particular expertise in the preparation of Local Area Plans (LAP’s) and Framework Plans either for developers at the request of the Planning Authority or for the Planning Authority itself.

Planning Appraisals

JSA frequently undertakes planning appraisals on the part of property owners, prospective purchasers and lending institutions to ascertain the planning situation and future development potential of land together with providing expert witness evidence at Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) enquiries.

Development Plan Submissions

JSA are leading experts in preparing zoning/development plan submissions and carry out detailed discussions with the Planning Authority to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients.

Expert Witness

John Spain Associates have particular expertise in acting as expert witness at planning hearings. The practice has recently represented clients at oral hearings held by An Bord Pleanala in relation to the Dart Underground project and the Luas BX/D project. The practice took the lead in preparing detailed précis of evidence, coordinating consultants, presenting the evidence to the Board and cross examination.


The practice also provides expert advice in relation to enforcement cases. A recent example includes an assessment of the planning permissions and compliance matters which relate to the Ross Abbey Shopping Centre, Waterford City. In this case, JSA carried out a report in the context of proceedings commenced in which the defendant party had alleged that the development was not in compliance with planning permissions granted. The report prepared by John Spain Associates examined the alleged breaches of condition.

John Spain Associates can also provide expert advice in addressing issues raised in an Enforcement Notice. The practice can carry out negotiations with the Local Authority concerned and co-ordinate and manage planning applications to try and resolve unauthorized development.


John Spain Associates can provide expert advice and consultancy services in respect of Compulsory Purchase Orders and arbitration. Some recently examples include:

JSA were retained by Cork County Council to provide expert planning advice in relation to a Compulsory Purchase of lands required for the construction of part of the Midleton Northern Relief Road.

The dispute related to the value of the lands to be paid through the Compulsory Purchase Order process. Key issues in this regard included the value of the lands with and without the Northern Relief Road objective and zoning objectives of the subject lands and surrounding lands which arose as a result of the Northern Relief Road objective and the re-opening of the Cork-Midleton rail line to the south of the subject lands.

JSA were also recently retained to provide advice in respect of the CPO of lands required for the development of service stations on the M1. We are also currently advising a client in respect of the CPO of lands required for the Port Access Relief Road at the Murrough, Wicklow Town.

Strategic Environmental Assessment and Appropriate Assessment

JSA have carried out SEA studies for the Phibsoboro Mountjoy LAP and the Liberties LAP.

JSA can also provide advice on Appropriate Assessment as now required under Article 6(3) and 6(4) of the Habitats Directive.

Due Diligence

John Spain Associates undertake due diligence reports in respect of properties, landholdings and developments. Such reports would involve consultation with local authorities, review of existing planning permissions, ascertaining compliance with planning permissions and relevant conditions and compliance with the land use permitted. In addition development plan policy such as zoning, density and plot ratio are advised in addition to planned development and infrastructure for an area.

Extension of Duration Applications

The Planning and Development Act, 2010, alters the provisions governing the extension of the duration of a planning permission to, inter alia, facilitate the extension of a permission, which was not commenced due to ‘commercial, economic or technical reasons’. John Spain Associates have prepared a number of successful applications, for minor to major schemes, for extension of duration of planning permissions