It may take decades to fix Ireland's housing crisis, developer says –

Gordon Deegan
A leading housebuilder has said it may take decades for the housing crisis to be resolved “given the current planning blockages and general inertia”.
John Maxwell, the chief executive of Lioncor, made his comment after Dublin City Council granted planning permission to Lioncor plans to construct a 208-unit “social and affordable” apartment scheme in Terenure, Dublin 12.
The council granted permission despite strong local opposition where the planning authority received in excess of 45 third-party submissions.
The scheme comprises five blocks rising up to six storeys made up of 104 one-bed and 104 two-bed apartments at Kimmage Road West, Terenure.
Mr Maxwell said on Tuesday that the firm was delighted to have secured a grant of planning “for this important social and affordable scheme”.
He said: “We simply need to build more homes for all sectors of society. Our team are ready to activate this planning permission immediately and we hope to commence on site during Q2 of this year.”
He said that an appeal to An Bord Pleanála “would add 16 weeks to our timeline but given An Bord Pleanála have already granted a similar scheme under the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) planning, we are hopeful of a positive decision if appealed”.
Mr Maxwell said “the current planning backlog allied to the court backlog from judicial reviews of planning decisions is having a crippling effect on housing delivery”.
He said: “With a deficit of 250,000 homes plus an annual required run rate of 50,000-60,000 units means it will be decades before this problem is fixed given the current planning blockages and general inertia. This is a real concern for Ireland’s competitiveness and our ability to continue to attract FDI.”
Mr Maxwell added: “There is a housing crisis, but no one seems willing to drop the politics and deal with the issue.”
The council planning report which recommended planning permission said the redevelopment of the vacant site for residential development “is welcomed and represents a more efficient use of the lands”.
In relation to the scheme, on behalf of Recorders Residents’ Association, Pauline Foster told the council that “it is our belief that increased flooding events will be inevitable if the proposed development is permitted”.
Chairman of the Kimmage Rd West Residents Association, Paul Kenny, told the council that “the height and scale of the proposed development is in contravention of the Dublin City Development Plan”.
Mr Kenny said the scheme “will overlook and overshadow at least 30 houses on Captain’s Rd and a number of houses on Brookfield Green”.
Mr Kenny further argued that “this is not a development which will support the provision of affordable and social housing”. He said “the indicated price of the units is certainly not affordable”.
In a comprehensive objection lodged on behalf of Roberta McCrossan, Marston Planning Consultancy contended that the proposed development will remain seriously injurious to the existing residential and visual amenity of the adjoining residential properties.
Last year, Lioncor secured planning permission for a €106-million apartment scheme which also contained 208 units for the same site under An Bord Pleanala’s ‘fast-track’ process.
However, that permission was challenged in the High Court through a judicial review by the Kimmage Dublin Residents Alliance CLG.
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