A review of planning in six local authorities is expected to examine why some councils grant planning permission to developers whose plans have previously been rejected by An Bord Pleanála.

The practice, whereby developers resubmit slightly "tweaked" versions of planning applications, has long been a cause of concern for conservation group An Taisce.

Instead of rejecting the resubmitted application in view of An Bord Pleanála's decision, An Taisce says councils often "rubberstamp" the plans a second or subsequent time, meaning the process of appealing the decision to the board begins all over again.

The practice of developers resubmitting rejected applications with minor alterations can sometimes happen as many as three or four times, meaning there is a "knock-on" effect in the unnecessary use of time and resources.

There is also a risk that the "new" plan may slip under the radar of those who originally objected to the proposals, allowing the developer to proceed to construction.

Announcing details of his plans to review planning systems last week, environment minister John Gormley said it would look at how four county councils (Galway, Cork, Meath and Carlow) and two city councils (Dublin and Cork) have implemented planning laws and policies. Another local authority, Donegal County Council, is now the subject of a similar process.

Gormley revealed last week that his department received some 8,000 submissions on planning from the public and from organisations such as An Taisce last year. He said this correspondence would be used to shape the work of the review group and prepare future development plans.