10 Nov 2019

Review of the Strategic Housing Development Process

Some residents may be interested in The Report of the Review Group on the Operation of the Strategic Housing Development process 2017-2019 which was published recently. This was a report compiled to investigate the SHD (Fast-track) planning process, ahead of a possible extension for a further two years. The Residents’ Association made a submission during the public consultation in the summer. We argued against its continuation for various reasons, as did many politicians, community groups etc. This Report has now been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas.

This report makes many recommendations to improve the process, including a possible “use it or lose it” clause, if the development is not commenced after a period of eighteen months. The Group also recommended increasing response times during the process, hosting the planning details on a planning authority website, not the developers, allowing the public more access to An Bord Pleanala reports, and also increasing the threshold from 100 units to 200 units. There are many other recommendations listed in the document.

Unfortunately, while Minister Eoghan Murphy agreed with the introduction of the ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ clause, he rejected suggestions to double the threshold, claiming it would lead to confusion, and to extend the time-frame for public consultation. The Minister will sign an order to implement the changes before the end of the year.

It’s disappointing that the Minister is not taking on board more of the Report’s recommendations. Thanks to Cllr Anne Colgan for sending this on, and thanks to Senator Victor Boyhan for consulting with us, and communicating the Association’s experience and opinion of this SHD process during the recent Joint Oireachtas Committee meeting.