Deeply concerning that Government is ramming through Planning Bill

Ivana Bacik TD
19 June 2024
  • Dublin 4th most expensive European city to build apartments in

Labour Leader and Spokesperson on Housing Ivana Bacik TD has highlighted alarming new data revealing that Dublin is the fourth most expensive European city in which to build apartments. The figures coincide with a dramatic decline in the number of new apartments approved for construction at the beginning of this year, underscoring the urgent need for substantial planning and development reforms.

Deputy Bacik said:

“The latest data on Dublin’s soaring construction costs come as no surprise to those struggling to find affordable housing. This crisis is exacerbated by the government’s failure to address the root causes, particularly the high price of land. Labour proposed an amendment to the Planning and Development Bill seeking to cap the price of land, a crucial step towards making housing more affordable, but the Government has shamefully guillotined the bill without proper debate.

“After just two days, Government guillotined debate on a bill which had almost 1,200 amendments tabled at committee stage and over 800 at report stage. These opposition amendments deserved thorough consideration because they pertain to matters of huge importance to the planning system. We need meaningful reforms to ensure a fair and functional housing market.

“The Planning & Development Bill, heralded by the Government as the solution to chaos in the planning system, is incapable of resolving these problems. Our proposed amendments, which were never debated at report stage, included essential measures such as a ‘use it or lose it’ planning permission time limit for developers speculating on land which could be turned into homes, clarifying the law to ensure public access to the countryside, and replacing Minister O’Brien’s flawed amendment to tackle abuse in planning with a new offence which would criminalise corrupt developers just as much as individuals looking to exploit the planning system. Implementing the Kenny Report and capping the price of land represent essential steps to be taken in any reform of planning law. It is essential for ensuring that our planning laws serve the public interest and support the development of affordable housing. The government’s refusal to engage with these proposals is a betrayal of those in need of housing.

“We need immediate action to address the housing crisis. Government must stop stifling debate and allow for the necessary reforms to be implemented. Dublin’s position as one of the most expensive cities in Europe in which to build apartments is unacceptable. It is time for the government to act decisively and implement the changes needed to deliver a planning system that works for all.”

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