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  • Government Circular to Local Authorities to Address Housing Crisis

    The recent Circular from the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D addressing the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness (“Rebuilding Ireland”) is of particular interest. Its sends out a clear message to local authorities around the country to meet the Government agenda in terms of using the planning system to facilitate new housing to meet current and pent-up demand.

    The Circular notes, inter alia, that:

    • all planning applications for scheme housing or activity relating to potential applications such as pre-planning consultations, must be afforded the highest priority by planning authorities.

    • In collaboration with the new Housing Delivery Office, the Department will be establishing, in conjunction with local authorities, appropriate monitoring systems to compare and contrast rates of further information requests and decision-making periods, as well as general response times to requests for pre-application meetings relating to housing scheme type proposals.

    • sites in key demand areas, that have been zoned for many years, are ready-to-go but are not being made available for development should be examined critically to determine whether other similar well-located and ready-to-go but unzoned lands should be considered as alternative zoned lands, where the prospects for making available for development of such alternative lands are better.

    • Local authorities are reminded that, where pressures exist, the development plan variation process provides a means of expediting amendments to zoning decisions to ensure that development plans flexibly take account of changing circumstances or issues unforeseen at the time of the original making of the development plan.

    • A flexible approach should be applied in respect of any planning conditions related to use/occupation of student accommodation which recognises the need to establish a steady rental income for such student accommodation throughout the year and planning authorities should aim to avoid making permissions for student accommodation complexes subject to restrictions on alternative summer or holiday uses.

    • Planning legislation will be revised around conversion and re-use for residential use of vacant commercial property and measures to support the regeneration of cities, towns and villages.

    Published on August 5, 2016 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Guidelines;
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