The National Infrastructure Summit 2024 (2)

Mary Hughes

Director & Town Planning Consultant, HRA and External Board Member, Project Ireland 2040 Delivery Board – Irish Government

With 24 years’ experience in planning, Mary spent her formative years working for different planning authorities throughout Ireland.  In 2002 she left the public sector and became Associate Director of an international transport and planning consultancy before establishing HRA Planning in 2005 with Gary Rowan.

Mary has an inherent understanding of the demands and needs of the Irish planning system and represented over 700 planners in the country as President of the Irish Planning Institute (IPI) between 2014 and 2016. She has debated planning issues on different media platforms including radio and television, presented planning papers and has appeared twice in front of the Oireachtas Environment Committee providing expert advice on planning and housing supply issues and legislation. Her knowledge and experience within the Irish Planning System led to her appointment to the four person An Bord Pleanála Review Group in August 2015. The findings and recommendations of the Organisational Review of An Bord Pleanála were published in February 2016 by the Minister for Environment.

Mary has an excellent working relationship with many local authorities across Ireland through her public sector work having worked for and on behalf of local authorities in Tipperary, Cork, Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Kildare, Dublin and Meath.

She has prepared planning policy and formulation of development plans and area framework strategies for local government and semi-state bodies. She has successfully navigated significant and complex residential and commercial projects through the planning system and has written numerous Environmental Impact Statements. She has also worked with a number of community groups in delivering effective consultation methods and strategies as part of the preparation of development plans and the advancement of complex planning projects.

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