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Rushed Planning Bill could delay House Building – Ó Broin

11 July, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that the Government’s ‘rushed planning Bill could delay house building’. The Planning and Development (amendment) (No2) Bill is being forced through all stages in the Dáil on Thursday. 

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Minister Eoghan Murphy is rushing through a new Planning Bill in a single day this week. The Planning and Development (Amendment) (No2) Bill seeks to allow developers to secure a second extension of planning permission of five years for developments that have commenced and where substantial work have been carried out. 

“The intention of the Bill is to ensure that no development currently underway is forced to cease due to the expiry of their existing planning permission extension.

“Sinn Féin is not opposed to the principle underlying the Bill. However the legislation is being rushed through without any meaningful time for scrutiny or amendment. This means that there could be unintended consequences or the Bills provisions if enacted could be open to abuse.

“I am concerned that some developers may use this second extension to delay their building projects in order to benefit from higher sales prices at a later point. It is not clear why five years is being proposed. This would result in house building being delayed which is the exact opposite to what the Government hopes to achieve.

“I am also concerned that the grounds on which a second extension of permission may be granted are too vague. If a Developer wished to avail of second extension there should be a clear onus on his or her to demonstrate why the development has been delayed and why it cannot be completed within the existing permission extension.

“Though small, this Bill represents a very significant change to the existing planning rules. I do not understand why the Government did not introduce it earlier in the Dáil term to allow members to fully scrutinise its provisions.” 

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