23 September 2016 – BRegs Weekly 32- Edition 82
Edition 82 of BRegs Weekly is out now.
In response to escalating figures for homelessness released this week, Minister Simon Coveney confirmed continued backing for the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government’s roll-out of controversial ‘rapid’ housing proposals initiated under former Minister Alan Kelly. A further 20 prefab homes are to be built this year in Mulhuddart, Dublin 15 at a projected cost of €235,000 (ex vat) per unit. An initial pilot ‘rapid’ scheme in Ballymun took 6 months longer to build than anticipated and cost significantly more than existing permanent homes for sale in the area. Industry experts confirmed that these homes do not meet current minimum development plan standards.
In the lead up to the budget, economist Ronan Lyons analysed proposed budgetary measures aimed at stimulating the ‘first-time buyers” market for new homes. He suggested innapropriate pro-cyclical incentives will not address regulatory, cost and supply problems at the heart of the housing crisis. Lyons has previously been critical of high construction costs in Ireland and in particular cost of our ineffective system of ‘self-certification’ Building Control which is adding over €25,000 to the cost of a typical apartment
Professor Lorcan Sirr examined recent legislative changes introduced by Minister Coveney that have eroded Local Authorities power and placed housing supply firmly under the control of speculative developers. He contends that Government policy is being made using “anecdote as fact”, with no credible evidence to prove suggestions that the planning system is a blockage to housing supply: “The elephant in the room is, of course, owners sitting on land with planning permission who won’t build, or who won’t sell if they can’t afford to build.” Sirr suggests that the Minister’s time would have been better spent undertaking a comprehensive review of our costly and innefective ‘self-certification” Building Control system.
The Irish Planning Institute (IPI) have separately written to Minister Coveney outlining its concerns with aspects of his Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness. They warn that further reform of the planning system is unlikely to facilitate an increase in the supply of sustainable housing and stating that there is a worrying trend for the piecemeal centralisation of the planning system away from local authorities.
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Click Here to read: BRegs Weekly – Edition 82