Government to review boom period planning permissions

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Andrew Carey

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PLANNING permissions granted during the Celtic Tiger “boom period” could be reviewed by Government who intent to only stimulate construction where it is necessary, Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan has said.

Speaking in Limerick last weekend, Minister O’Sullivan said that the Government’s housing strategy is due for publication in the coming weeks and in it a review of planning ensuring that it is fit for purpose will be outlined.

A new report from the Housing Agency has projected that a minimum of almost 80,000 residential units are required in urban areas to support the population over the next five years.

Minister O’Sullivan explained; “For example where applications were applied for and where applications were given maybe at the height of the boom, that we look at those again to make sure that they are appropriate for what is required now.

“We intend to stimulate building where it is required not where it isn’t required and that is the problem that we have had in the past that houses were built where they weren’t required.”

Minister O’Sullivan said she wasn’t concerned by the projected requirement of 80,000 units and anticipated the figure “would be something like that”.

The report forecasts that a minimum of 79,660 houses and apartments are required in urban up until the end of 2018.

Both Galway and Limerick will experience a shortfall in housing requirements in 2015 and require a total of 2,316 and 2,635 units respectively over the subsequent four years.

“It is very important that we have accurate figures because the government is at a point now where we are recovering from the economic collapse, and one of the results of the collapse is that there hasn’t been any houses being built and now the demand is building up and we have to know where the houses are needed and we have to ensure that planning system and the construction industry provides houses where houses are needed,” said Minister O’Sullivan.