The national planning regime is hurting the housing supply in this country, real estate experts say

The government’s National Planning Framework (NPF) is making it harder to provide much-needed housing and will make things worse if they are not scrapped, according to new research from Savills real estate agents and consultants.

and which could have provided 100,000 homes was vacated as a direct result of the NPF in Meath, Kildare and the rest of Greater Dublin, says Savill’s chief economist John Ring.

Development has been reversed despite the need for new homes where they do not meet the priorities for balanced regional development under the NPF.

This national policy framework, published in 2019, favors the development of regional centers over Dublin-centred development and local authorities must align their plans with the national strategy.

Most sites in Meath and Kildare have been dezoned.

“A better population balance between Dublin and the rest of the country is a laudable goal, but housing needs are greatest where there are jobs and policies that ignore this are doomed to failure. Claim is not reality,” said Mr. Ring.

Another key NPF target for construction on brownfields in and around urban core areas is also proving to be a deadlock to activity, he said.

“There is greater demand for brownfield developments from buyers because of the location and developers wanting to build there, but the reality is that these sites are complex and expensive to develop so they don’t get built.”

Launched in 2019 by then Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, the NPF set goals for balanced regional development and the revitalization of urban centres. All municipalities are now bound by this when they develop spatial planning policies up to 2040.

“The framework is fundamentally flawed and if left unchallenged will only exacerbate the housing crisis, but it could fall at the stroke of a pen from Housing Secretary Darragh O’Brien,” Mr Ring said.

If the NPF stands, 734 new homes will be built in Donegal in 2040 compared to 642 in Fingal, which covers the major commuter towns of north County Dublin, Mr Ring added.

He said many of the policies in the national plan were put in place to prevent a repeat of the Celtic Tiger era, which was characterized by a developer-led glut of homes in some outlying locations and urban sprawl into what is now Dublin’s commuter boroughs .

However, he said targets related to a housing crisis should be achievable rather than ambitious.

“We need a floor instead of a ceiling for housing delivery. After a lost decade of housing provision, we are producing just four homes per 1,000 people in Dublin, less than half the nine per 1,000 recorded 25 years ago and just a quarter of the production of 2006.”

According to Savills Ireland, there are four main barriers to the provision of housing within the NPF. These are:

:: Reduction of essential areas for development.

:: Incorrect population forecasts and forecasting models that assume a 50:50 growth split between Dublin and the rest of the country and target housing supply accordingly.

:: Lack of flexibility in goals and timelines.

:: Rigid site development rules, including one that requires 40 percent of new home deliveries to take place on brownfield sites.

Mr Ring said planning based on growth patterns of a 50/50 split between Dublin and the rest of the country “is flawed because it is unlikely to come to fruition”.

“By having a political perspective based on desire rather than reality, as we are currently doing, we plan to fail,” he added.

“We can alleviate the current housing crisis and adequately plan for Ireland’s housing needs, but these obstacles must be addressed first.” The national planning regime is hurting the housing supply in this country, real estate experts say

Fry Electronics Team

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