The deputy chair of An Bord Pleanála, Paul Hyde has resigned from his position, pre-empting the outcome of a number of inquiries into decisions he has made in his capacity as the second most senior board member at the state's planning appeals body.
Mr Hyde tendered his resignation to the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien on Friday, the Irish Examiner reports.
In early May, the Housing Minister appointed senior counsel Remy Farrell to investigate allegations that Mr Hyde had failed to declare conflicts of interest in a number of planning decisions.
Mr Farrell was due to report at the end of June, but his deadline was extended by a month.
An internal review of cases over which Mr Hyde presided is also being conducted in An Bord Pleanála, and thepreviously reported that an investigation by the chair of the board, under section 110 of the Planning Act, is under way.
On May 6th, Mr Hyde stepped aside from his role while the various inquiries were being conducted but denied any impropriety or conflict of interest.
At the time, An Bord Pleanala issued a statement saying he was absenting himself “on a strictly without prejudice basis” which implied that he would likely resume his role once the inquiry was completed.
However, in the intervening period media outlets have reported on a number of planning issues that have given rise to serious questions about processes and decision-making within the board.
Most of these have involved, to a greater or a lesser extent, Mr Hyde.
A whole array of decisions in which he played a role have raised serious questions, principally those involving strategic housing developments and communication masts.
An architect by training, Mr Hyde had previously worked out of his native Cork in the Hyde Partnership.