November 10, 2020
Fast track planning should be abolished immediately – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, speaking ahead of the Housing Committee meeting this morning, has called for the fast track planning legislation to be abolished immediately.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“This morning the Housing Committee will commence hearings on the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) legislation, and its impact on the delivery of housing.

“This controversial planning legislation was introduced in 2017 by the then Minister for Housing Simon Coveney to tackle delays in residential housing delivery.

“Sinn Féin argued against the introduction of this legislation as it undermines democratically agreed local development plans.

“Unfortunately, with the tacit support of Fianna Fáil the legislation proceeds through the Dáil in record time.

“Three and a half years on this legislation has not led to an increase in the delivery of housing.

“Research conducted by journalist Killian Woods indicates that 162 planning applications have been granted via the SHD legislation up to this week. These planning permissions have the potential to deliver 11, 949 houses, 31,808 apartments and 12,126 student bedspaces.

“Of these planning permissions, commencement notices have only been lodged with respect to developing just 41% of the houses, 21% of the apartments and 54% of the student bedspaces.

“The system is not working and is being abused by developers who are sitting on sites with permission just to increase the land value.

“We welcomed the commitment not to extend the SHD legislation in the programme for government, however allowing SHDs to continue to the end of 2021 is not acceptable. It must be abolished immediately.

“Once the SHD legislation is abolished, we must introduce meaningful reforms to the planning legislation that introduces statutory timeframes for pre-planning, requests for additional information and appeals to the An Bord Pleanála.

“This will ensure planning decisions can be progressed within the quickest possible time frame without undermining democratically agreed development plans and local participation in planning.”

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