© Marie Mianowski 2012 and Contributors 2012. Decisions made on a day-to-day basis in the planning system can have significant impacts on the character of a landscape. Some of these impacts may result from high-level strategic initiatives such as the creation of new settlements to accommodate expected levels of population growth in a city-region. Others may arise from decisions about individual building projects at locations that are cherished for their local, cultural or scenic value. Such change may also occur gradually through the accumulated effects of numerous, relatively minor decisions. For example a rural patchwork of agricultural holdings and homesteads near a city can quickly assume a distinctly suburban character when as few as half a dozen separate planning permissions are approved in a linear roadside pattern. Planning authorities can also influence landscape character through certain official procedures for example by listing for protection an important vista or a group of historic buildings in their setting. In these and many other ways, planning becomes the public and legally sanctioned arena in which debates about landscape value and a range of other issues, often with complex and competing understandings at stake, play themselves out.1 The outcomes of these dramas-which in Ireland can take place in local council chambers or in public oral hearings held by the Planning Appeals Board (An Bord Pleanála)-can turn on major questions of regional importance2 or indeed on some delicately nuanced local factors3 which are valued highly by particular participants in the process.