Increase in planning applications
Planning applications and construction projects are on the up in Co. Wicklow.
According to figures released by the National Housing Construction Index, a total of 60 projects commenced in the first two months of this year compared with just 17 in the same period last year.
In 2011 and 2012, just 18 and 16 projects started in the same period respectively. This indicates an increae of 253 per cent which is well over the national average increase of 192 per cent. Regarding planning applications, a total of 78 were submitted in the first two months of this year, an increae of 29 or 59 per cent on the same period of 2013.
A total national increase of 21 per cent in the level of planning applications made was recorded. Wicklow fared well compared with neighbouring counties Dublin and Wexford which showed increases of 57 per cent and 23 per cent respectively for planning applications.
In terms of commencements of projects, Wexford was relatively similar in progress to Wicklow with an increase of 250 per cent or 60 new projects while Dublin saw 131 new projects which indicated an increase of 73 per cent.
According to Danny O'Shea, Managing Director of Link2Plans which gathered the information for the survey, various factors are responsible for the Wicklow results.
'Three key factors have all aligned to create this huge increase. The first being a pent up demand in the sector, the second being increased confidence to start new residential projects, and thirdly the rush to lodge commencement notices before the 1st March deadline for the introduction of the new building regulations.
'What was regarded as purely a regulatory change appears to have had a seismic impact on residential construction activity, greater than any increase arising from changes in last October's budget.'