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NEW POWERS TO SPEED UP HOUSE BUILDING

New laws

NEW POWERS TO SPEED UP HOUSE BUILDING

Presently the supply of new housing in the Dublin area is not matching demand and this is serving to pump up house prices in the city.  It’s widely believed that developers/property speculators are deliberately slowing work on new estates so as to profit from the rises in market prices.

Laws are to be introduced allowing local authorities to reduce the time given to develop new estates if the developers/property speculators involved are suspected of engaging in this practice.  These new laws form part of a number of new proposed changes to existing planning laws.

These include :

  • Local authorities to speed up planning applications.
  • Government to keep a closer eye on planning permissions and ensure development starts within a reasonable time frame.
  • Review of building regulations, which were designed improve standards on large scale construction but are believed to be adversely affecting smaller scale “one off“  
  • Yearly vacant site tax of between 3% and 6 % of value of land to prevent land hoarding in more populated areas.
  • 10 % of all new developments to be provided for social housing. These houses will then be purchased by local authorities. This will in effect guarantee a 10% sale before construction work begins.
  • A reduction in development levies when planning permission has been granted but construction has yet to begin.

These new new changes are not without controversy. The Dublin Task Force on housing has raised concerns that laws to reduce cost for builders will mean the taxpayer having to foot the bill for infrastructure costs.

Questions are also likely to be raised about any dilution of existing planning regulations. These regulations were introduced to combat substandard housing built during the boom years. Is this a step back or a step forward?

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