Wednesday 28 January 2015

Planners warn against relaxing housing rules

Published 02/06/2014 | 02:30

THERE has been a surge in the number of potential property buyers approved for a mortgage in February.

PLANNERS have warned the Government that any relaxation of planning rules to fast-track housing development will only result in long-term problems.

Writing in today's Irish Independent, president of the Irish Planning Institute (IPI) Mary Crowley says the planning system provides "confidence and certainty", and that repeated calls to relax standards will "undermine" the system.

Her comments come after An Bord Pleanala chairwoman Dr Mary Kelly last week said that only high-density developments should be allowed in urban areas close to public transport links so that the maximum use of expensive infrastructure including roads, railways and water treatment plants was achieved.

Despite house prices sharply rising in the past year due to a shortage of family homes coming onto the market, the IPI has also cautioned against building developments which do not comply with the highest standards.

"The pressure to fast-track large development or facilitate major changes to approved projects without planning or community oversight must be resisted," Ms Crowley said.

Irish Independent

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