Planners Welcome Housing for All Posted on September 2, 2021September 2, 2021 by Irish Planning Institute Planners welcome Housing for All Housing must be Place-Based and Plan-Led to deliver sustainable communities The Irish Planning Institute (IPI) has issued a tentative welcome for the new Housing for All Strategy announced by Government today. Commenting on the publication today, Dr Conor Norton President of the Irish Planning Institute said “Overall we feel that the strategy announced by government today represents a welcome shift in public policy towards the delivery of Housing for our citizens. As Planners we emphasise that delivery of housing must be part of a larger placemaking approach to development that is place-based and plan-led”. Measures announced by the Government land value sharing and the vacant property are tax are core principles for the delivery of housing that are long called for by Planners. Nonetheless, Dr Norton cautions that closer examination of these measures is required to assess short term and long term impacts on housing delivery in the context of the National Planning Framework, Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies and County Development Plans currently being developed by Local Authorities across the country. “Effective land management is pivotal to the success of this new strategy and will have a huge impact on cost and viability for the delivery of housing. Taxation measures, while important can be fleeting and measures introduced around land value need to be embedded and resilient to change. Further detail is necessary for Planners to understand how any value capture would be returned if lands were to be subsequently down-zoned as part of the Development Plan Making process” he added. The Institute is also supportive of the concept of Urban Development Zones announced today as part of a suite of Planning Measures to expedite the delivery of Housing. “Confirmation is needed of the central role of Local Authority Planners in preparing these Planning Schemes and the role of Elected Members in their adoption is necessary for local support, upholding democratic principles and avoiding Judicial Review that has hampered the implementation of Planning Permissions in recent years” he explained. In his final comments Dr Norton refers to the chronic under resourcing of Planning Authorities which must now be addressed if Housing for All is to deliver on its ambitions. “The Irish Planning Institute recently surveyed Local Authority Planning Departments and Private Sector Planning Consultants around the capacity within the system. 28 out of 29 Local Authorities who responded to our survey as well as every Planning Consultant in Private Practice sited the under resourcing of Planning Departments as the most significant barrier to the successful operation of the Planning System. We are calling on the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and Local Government Management Association to address this situation as a matter of extreme urgency” he concluded.