Vacant shops could soon be turned into homes to help tackle the housing shortage in Limerick.
Proposals were brought to Government this week for vacant commercial premises to be made into housing units without the need for planning permission.
Limerick Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne said: “These draft regulations will allow the conversion of certain vacant commercial premises here in Limerick such as empty retail units and “over the shop” type spaces to homes without the need for planning permission.
“This will have the dual benefit of creating urgently needed housing supply in high demand areas, while at the same time breathing new life into our towns and urban areas- many of which have been adversely affected by the economic downturn.
“Fine Gael is fully committed to bringing as many vacant properties as possible back into use and maximising the use of existing resources.”
“These new regulations brought forward by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy and Minister of State Damien English will make it easier for property owners to re-imagine the use of vacant and under-used buildings without having to go through the planning process.
“These are the first of a series of measures to streamline the various regulatory requirements relating to the conversion of vacant spaces for residential use,”.
“We want to once again show how the planning system can be responsive to current needs and demands, by removing the need for planning consent where appropriate and thereby provide greater efficiencies in the system.
“All elements of the three sets of proposals brought forward today have the potential to have a very real and positive impact on the people of Limerick”
“The Joint Oireachtas Committee will discuss these proposals in early 2018 so that the new provisions can be brought into operation as soon as possible,” she explained.
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