Irish Planning Institute responds to publication of the updated draft guidelines on apartment developments

The Irish Planning Institute responds to publication of the updated draft guidelines on apartment developments

Current President of the Irish Planning Institute Deirdre Fallon has acknowledged the publication of the updated draft guidelines on apartment developments, published yesterday by the Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government Eoghan Murphy.

At the Irish Planning Institute Autumn Conference in October 2017 Minster Murphy announced his intention to lift the “numerical height caps” in city cores and along key public transport corridors.  Since this announcement, the Institute represented by former President John Spain have participated in a consultation process with the Department and other stakeholders on apartment development and urban building heights.

Speaking after the publication of the new draft guidelines on apartment development, Irish Planning Institute President Deirdre Fallon acknowledged that these new guidelines reflect the focus on urban regeneration around key public transport corridors in the Draft National Planning Framework.  However the Institute urges the Minister not to adopt a “quick fix approach” to housing shortages and to ensure quality standards are not permitted to drop as part of a government approach to solving the current housing crisis.

Ms Fallon further pointed out that planning and proposed changes to planning guidelines are only part of the solution to resolving housing and apartment supply. The planning sector has already made a significant contribution to reducing the costs of housing through previously amended apartment guidelines in 2015, targeted development contributions rebate schemes and reduced social housing contribution. Additional measures need to be introduced by Government to address other costs associated with housing provision and to incentivise the development of new apartments along public transport corridors and in other appropriate locations as envisioned by the Draft Guidelines. The Institute reiterates its call for the introduction of a site value tax system to encourage the development of under-utilised, serviced, zoned and accessible lands in urban areas. This tax would act as a penalty to landowners who allow sites to fall into dereliction and instead encourage them to use lands to their full potential in accordance with the principles of proper planning and sustainable development.