In its recent report, “Planning Reform Necessary to Expedite the Delivery of Housing”, the Irish Homebuilders Association attributes some of the blame in the housing crisis to the planning system. It goes as far as saying that the system, which was built in the 20th century, hasn’t adapted to the issues that we are facing in the 21st century, resulting in unnecessary delays. Some of the issues include an excessive level of paperwork; the fact that it is still manual, (rather than digital); and that there are underfunding issues at local authority level.
In an effort to improve the system it suggests that if outline planning permissions were utilized more often, planning issues would be highlighted from the beginning, rather than at the end. Digitalizing the process would be an obvious improvement opportunity. Mandatory “Viability testing” would result in equitable weighting to market requirements. A more balanced approach to vacant site levies would draw attention to bottlenecks. A schedule of all zoned lands would highlight causes for delays and would expose the bureaucracy associated with Irish Water.
We support such changes so that the industry can move towards building the 33,000 to 36,000 p.a. new homes which are required to tackle the housing crisis.
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