The Department of the Environment has confirmed that independent experts will not now be carrying out a review into allegations of planning irregularities.

The previous minister, John Gormley, had asked for a review of planning decisions by Dublin and Cork city councils, as well as county councils in Carlow, Meath, Galway and Cork.

Public advertisements led to the appointment of a panel of planning experts from which a team was to be appointed for the review.

A spokesman for the department said the panel had been informed that no appointments will now be made. The spokesman said the format of the investigation was considered 'inappropriate' by Environment Minister Phil Hogan and Minister of State for Housing Willie Penrose.

An internal review is being carrying out instead and a report is to be published 'shortly'.