Housing Commission Report Reinforces view that the National Planning Framework is flawed - Construction Network Ireland - Construction Network Ireland

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Published in Feature on 23/05/2024

Housing Commission Report Reinforces view that the National Planning Framework is flawed

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CNI reports

In response to the Housing Commission’s report, property advisor, Savills Ireland is urging the government to make substantial changes to the National Planning Framework (NPF), via the forthcoming Planning & Development Bill, to ensure it can meet the country’s housing needs effectively.

The Housing Commission’s findings underscore many of the concerns previously highlighted by Savills, particularly the need for more realistic and flexible planning policies.

John Ring, Director of Research at Savills Ireland, stated:

“The Housing Commission’s report confirms what we have long argued – the NPF in its current form is not equipped to address the urgent housing crisis. With the government now targeting the delivery of 50,000 new homes annually, it is imperative that the updated NPF includes a significant increase in zoned residential land to meet this ambitious goal.”

Savills emphasises several critical points that must be addressed in the forthcoming revision of the NPF:

  1. Increased Zoned Residential Land: The updated NPF must ensure there is enough zoned residential land to accommodate the growing population. The current provisions are inadequate, leading to a severe shortage of available housing.
  2. Significant Headroom in Zoning: There must be substantial headroom in the quantum of land being zoned. The previous limitations have proven unrealistic given the numerous impediments to development, such as lengthy planning processes and un-serviced land.
  3. Addressing Development Impediments: A significant portion of zoned land remains undeveloped due to dependencies on Irish Water and other utility providers for essential upgrades. These infrastructural challenges must be mitigated to expedite housing delivery.
  4. Realistic Growth Projections: The NPF’s reliance on aspirational growth targets rather than realistic population projections has exacerbated housing undersupply. Policies must reflect actual growth trends to ensure adequate housing provision.
  5. 50:50 Split Between Dublin and the Rest of the Country: The NPF’s policy of splitting future population growth equally between Dublin and other regions is constraining Dublin’s growth. This approach does not account for Dublin’s economic dynamics and the demand for housing driven by foreign direct investment and job creation. The unrealistic growth targets for other regions divert resources and land away from where they are most needed.

“The NPF must pivot from aspirational goals to realistic, actionable plans that can deliver the required housing. This means increasing the land available for development and addressing the infrastructural challenges that delay housing projects,” Ring added.