Login | Register
09/06/2016

Coveney insists fast-track planning needed to solve Ireland's housing crisis

Words: Roger Milne
Simon Coveney

Ireland's housing and planning minister Simon Coveney insisted this week that responding to the housing crisis would require fast-track planning.

Speaking at a housing conference in Dublin, he acknowledged that this would mean “making choices that aren’t perfect in terms of the planning system “.

He continued: “There is an emergency in Ireland that needs an emergency response and that means we need to do things differently, and we will do things differently."

Under a fast-track regime, local councils would be sidelined in a new move to speed up house-building nationwide and tackle the country's housing crisis. Coveney said he intends to establish a new Special Delivery Unit in the department, with project managers appointed to drive specific house building projects from start to finish.

He is also considering further bypassing councils by fast-tracking big building projects to An Bórd Pleanála, to speed up decisions. This process would be similar to the regime for strategic infrastructure projects.

Coveney went on to say that fast-track measures would be delivered in tandem with “the normal process of planning” that would “deliver in the normal way”.

The minister said his department’s promised housing action, due next month, plan would ensure that most of the additional houses and apartments to be built would be affordable. He said measures in the plan would replace the boom-bust cycle of construction and housing supply” through better management of the land supply and development process”

He said measures in the plan would replace the boom-bust cycle of construction and housing supply "through better management of the land supply and development process”.

Meanwhile the Oireachtas committee on housing has called for the government to place limits on the amount of profit that developers can make from building houses.

The Irish Independent has also reported that local authorities have failed to build any of the 1,700 'shovel-ready' social houses promised more than a year ago.

Image | Irish Defence Forces
 

Tags