The large rise in one-off rural homes threatens to clash with government housing policies

The planning authority has expressed concern that there has been a sharp increase in the number of single houses in the country receiving planning permission.

Standalone homes accounted for 45 percent of all homes approved last year, a 42 percent increase from the number approved in 2020.

In the first nine months of this year, they made up 41 percent of all approved homes. Regulator Niall Cussen said if the pattern continued it would be at odds with government policy on housing density.

“Close monitoring is needed to see whether data signaling a shift toward a greater number of planning applications for smaller housing development proposals and one-off homes, as opposed to larger project-type homes in cities and towns, in 2022 and beyond become a trend,” he said.

“Should such trends continue or escalate, they may conflict with government policy objectives of ensuring a more compact and sustainable overall development.”

A total of 42,991 apartments received planning permission last year – 26,272 apartments, 9,220 houses in settlements and other apartment buildings and 7,499 individual projects.

The number of apartments has increased slightly compared to 2020 and the number of houses has decreased – a continuation of the trend in 2019 and 2020.

But the number of single houses increased significantly. The numbers in 2018, 2019 and 2020 were 5,481, 5,622 and 5,291 respectively.

Last year there were 7,499, and this year there are signs of a similar number after 5,568 were registered in the first nine months.

In 2018, 2019, and 2020, the proportion of homes that were one-offs was 27, 29, and 30 percent, respectively.

It was 45 percent last year and 37 percent in the first nine months of this year.

Government policy on paper is to encourage more compact residential buildings to prevent band development across the country, make better use of fill sites and rejuvenate ailing provincial towns.

One of Prime Minister Peter Burke’s final steps before leaving the Department of Housing for the State Department was an assurance that the long-awaited new rural housing guidelines would not be overly restrictive on single homes.

The data comes from a year-end assessment by the Office of the Planning Regulatory Authority, which shows a very large increase in the total number of planning applications for all types of developments over the past year.

At 39,934, the number of applications was up 29 percent from 2020 and the highest since 2008.

A total of 88.5 percent of applications were approved, but there was a wide discrepancy between local authorities with the lowest and highest approval rates.

Louth County Council had the lowest score at 77 percent, compared to Tipperary County Council at 97 percent. Even greater variation was seen in the proportion of building applications deemed invalid, which occurs when submitted without sufficient detail or documentation. The large rise in one-off rural homes threatens to clash with government housing policies

Fry Electronics Team

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