Minister needs to call time on failed Strategic Housing Development process

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
10 November 2020
  • Department of Housing more concerned with pleasing developers than sustainable planning
  • SHDs not delivering extra housing and just 3 in 10 developments granted permission have started.
  • A third of units commenced are for Student Accommodation
  • Any permission that has been challenged by Judicial Review has been overturned.

Labour Housing Spokesperson, Senator Rebecca Moynihan has said that the Minister for Housing needs to clarify that the SHD process will end in 2021.

Senator Moynihan said that SHD’s have failed to deliver additional housing since it came in effect in July 2017.

Speaking after it was revealed at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing that the Department want to incorporate SHD timelines beyond 2021, Senator Moynihan said:

 “Strategic Housing Development (SHD) planning laws were brought in by Fine Gael three years ago for the express purpose of quickly increasing the supply of housing.. The move to strip planning from local authorities for developments of 100 units or more to An Bord Pleanála has simply not worked to deliver extra homes as was promised at the time.


“I have researched both the number of applications for SHDs to An Bord Pleanála, and the number of judicial reviews taken over SHDs. There were 228 applications up to end of June 2020, and 137 were granted permission. Of those only 42 have lodged commencement notices for 10,392 homes, and 5,371 student accommodation units.


“What the figures reveal is that over half of the 42 developments that have started are for student accommodation. Examining court reports I have found that any permission that has been challenged by judicial review has been overturned. That is a total failure of planning and housing policy.


“This Fine Gael idea, backed also by Fianna Fáil at the time, has clearly not deliver the expected extra housing that would have been expected after three years. A third of all units commenced are for student accommodation. This shows that developers have moved most quickly to exploit this law to provide a type of housing that is not the solution to the supply crisis.


“The legislation has been extended up until the end of 2021 and the government have committed to not replacing it.  However, that is not good enough when permissions are not being used, and significant numbers of developments are being challenged in the courts. If we had our way, we would stop this legislation now and repeal it.


“I am exasperated to hear today that the Department want to extend, what they have termed the good parts of the SHD certainty for the developer. The time for SHD’s beyond 2021. This experiment has clearly failed, and the Minister needs to call time on it. SHD’s do not deliver housing and only work for developers.

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