The State’s independent oversight body for planning – the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR), today welcomed publication of the Government’s €4bn per annum Housing for All plan.
The Planning Regulator, Niall Cussen said:
“Housing for All is a historic and major policy step forward for three reasons:
- it is fully funded and delivery focused;
- it is centred around plan-led sustainable housing delivery in the right locations; and
- it proposes major reforms to aid supply of land at lower costs in the locations of the greatest housing demand, particularly in our city, town and village cores”.
The OPR welcomes the extensive range of guidance now given and the key role for local authorities in planning for the level, the location and the types of housing needed working under the umbrella of the National Planning Framework and the Climate Action Plan.
From Housing Supply Targets, to Housing Needs Demand Assessments and updated Development Plan Guidelines, local authorities now have the clarity they need to plan sustainably, prudently and comprehensively.
Deputy Planning Regulator, Anne Marie O’Connor added that:
“With almost every local authority now reviewing their statutory development plans, under our oversight, setting out their strategies for housing delivery, the Government has provided a very clear framework, which we fully support.
We will continue to work with local authorities to ensure this framework is implemented so housing delivery in the right locations is assured.”
The OPR also welcomes the very strong commitments in the plan on supporting affordable and public housing delivery in town and city centres, including the role of the Land Development Agency, in ensuring that the 300,000 homes needed by 2030 are delivered very differently from the sprawl of the past.
This new approach will decrease car-dependency, strengthen our town centres and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Planning Regulator, Niall Cussen also pointed out that:
“The plan correctly identifies that our planning process must “up its game” in terms of the capacity and capabilities of its personnel and systems to ensure sustainable housing delivery.
Through new training initiatives and supporting the digital planning services agenda, the OPR will play its full part in ensuring that planning processes will run smoothly to support delivery under the plan.”