New Housing Provisions

The Government has published new heads of bills for changes to legislation for planning applications in excess of 100 houses, Extension of Duration (EOD) for certain housing permissions and other related matters. The proposed measures are presented under the General Scheme of Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016.

The new legislation will allow planning applications for large housing developments in excess of 100 units to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála rather than local planning authorities. The new measures, will only apply until the end of 2019. The relevant local authority will play an important role as part of the pre-application consultations. Such consultations must be completed within a maximum period of 9 weeks and a decision must be taken within that time as to whether the application should go ahead. The legislation is expected to provide a deadline of 16 weeks from lodgement for determination of the application. The main purpose of the legislation is to speed up the planning process. Members of the public will still be able to make submissions as part of the statutory consultation process.

Minister Coveney is to ask the Cabinet to publish the legislation by the end of October 2016 and to allow for its timely passage through the Oireachtas. The proposed legislative changes arise from the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness (Rebuilding Ireland) published by the Department for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government in July, 2016.

The legislation also includes changes to repeat Extension of Duration (EOD) applications in certain circumstances. The proposed changes will allow, in certain circumstances, for a second EOD application where a permission has already been extended. The proposals allow for this to happen only once for a maximum period of 5 years, subject to compliance with certain conditions. The planning authority may grant a further extension where it is satisfied that the relevant development has not been completed due to circumstances beyond the control of the person carrying out the development and where the EOD application has been made prior to the expiry of the current extended permission. This new EOD option will only apply to    developments in excess of 20 or more units and the additional period in such cases shall not exceed 5 years or go beyond the 31 December 2021, whichever is the earlier.

Please contact us at McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan if you would like professional advice on the proposed new legislative measures.

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