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Planning is Not the Roadblock to Housing Delivery

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Planning is Not the Roadblock to Housing Delivery

Planning is Not the Roadblock to Housing Delivery
October 11
10:43 2019

“Planning is not the roadblock to housing delivery,” according to Joe Corr, President of the Irish Planning Institute (IPI), the professional body representing planners in Ireland. Speaking at the IPI’s recent Autumn Planning Conference, he said: “One of the most pressing challenges facing our profession and colleagues in allied professions is the delivery of affordable housing. The planning profession has responded to the government’s call for fast track planning for housing with the implementation of Strategic Housing Development. However, despite increased planning activity, figures for building on the ground need to increase to reflect the market need.”

Joe Corr was responding to recent reports in the media on the commencement rates of construction under the fast track planning system. Since the implementation of the Strategic Housing Development Programme in 2017, An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission for 16,172 housing units and 7,573 units of student accommodation. To date, construction has commenced on only one third of those housing units.

“While on the surface it looks like construction is stalling, time needs to be given for the overall process to be completed. For example, the eight week period in which judicial reviews can be taken, creates a two month pause,” he continued.

Joe Corr acknowledged that “the impressive statistics around Strategic Housing planning applications granted versus the evidence on housing construction clearly indicate that planning is not the roadblock to housing delivery. Part of the solution is to provide the Planning Profession with adequate resources to ensure that Local Authorities and the Land Development Agency unlock strategic lands for development where planning permission has already been granted.”

The Irish Planning Institute is now calling for the focus to shift from the granting of planning permissions to the delivery of housing and for members of the planning profession to strengthen their collaboration with colleagues across developers, utilities, and housing bodies to ensure that housing is delivered efficiently at a local level.

“The Irish Planning Institute firmly believes that effective delivery of housing must happen at a local level. We are calling for the establishment of Planner Led Delivery Teams at Local Authority level to unlock strategic lands where planning permissions have been granted in order to expedite development,” Joe Corr concluded.

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