Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has announced an organisational review of An Bord Pleanála to ensure it can meet future challenges.

The board is an independent body, established under the Local Government Act, which is primarily responsible for the determination of planning appeals.

Minister Kelly says he thinks now is the right time to take an organisational review of the board, to make sure it is "appropriately positioned" for the future as the construction sector grows.

An Bord Pleanála, which is responsible for the determination of planning appeals and certain other matters under planning legislation, has been under the spotlight recently, following concerns over delays in the planning process.

Minister Kelly says an expert group will be appointed to undertake the independent review and will advise on how to increase the output of the planning appeals body while reducing the amount of litigation it generates.

British lawyer Gregory Jones will chair the panel of Irish planners and academics in examining the body.

It has been told to report to the minister by the end of the year.