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Sinn Féin Bill to ban co-living passes first stage - Eoin Ó Broin TD

24 September, 2019 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD’s Bill that overturns Minister Murphy’s mandatory guidelines for local authorities on apartment standards and heights, build to rent and co-living, has passed its first stage.

The Planning and Development (Excessive Ministerial Power Repeal) Bill 2019 reverses an amendment to the Planning and Development Act which allows the Minister for Housing to place mandatory planning policy requirements on local authorities.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“This Bill revokes an amendment made to the Planning and Development Act by Minister Alan Kelly in 2015 which gave the Minister the power to impose planning guidelines on local authorities. This power is undemocratic as it over rides what was decided by local councillors in their development plans.

“This amendment is what has led to the Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments — Guidelines for Planning Authorities published in March 2018 and the Urban Development and Building Heights Guidelines for Planning Authorities published in December 2018.

“These mandatory guidelines have removed restrictions on apartment building heights, decreased apartment sizes, increased the number of small studio apartments allowed in a single development, increased the number of apartments per lift or stairwell and reduced the number of dual aspect apartments per development.

“These mandatory guidelines also ensured greater flexibility for build-to-let apartment developers and introduced the concept of co-living and the 12 sqm micro apartments that this form of “housing” entails.

“The Bill I have introduced today repeals this contentious power and the resulting guidelines. Individual local authorities should be allowed to determine what planning policy should frame their county development plans. This anti-democratic power should be repealed, and I hope the Bill will receive cross party support.”

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