Controversial Build-to-Rent planning rules to be axed
The planning rules allowing ‘build-to-rent’ apartments will be abolished. The rules which were introduced by the then Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy in 2018, mean that apartments which are owned by institutional investors and are developed specifically for the rental market do not have to comply with the minimum size standards required in apartments which are for sale. There are less stringent storage requirements and more apartments are permitted per floor.
The Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien is expected to issue an amendment to the existing guidelines, removing the reduced standards. The developments which are already in planning will be allowed to continue under the existing regime.
The move comes from the pressures on the Government to provide more social and affordable homes, as the number of homeless people in Ireland are hitting record highs.
Emergency electricity plant receives planning permission
An Bord Pleanála has approved Government plans for a 210 MW temporary emergency electricity generating plant, comprising of six 35 MW gas turbines units. Due to the amid fears over the state supply, the application was prioritised and ‘fast tracked’.
The planning documents stated that the emergency power plant is designated to start quickly and will run when the electricity demand is high and generation capacity from other, currently available sources is insufficient and at risk of not meeting demand.
The Environmental Impact Assessment lodged with the planning application noted that the plant will be in place for up to 5 years from early 2023 and will operate for up to 500 hours a year, typically 4 hours per days when called to operate, on natural gas only.
Budget 2023 was announced on Tuesday, 27 September 2022. The Budget sets out an overall package of €11 billion. The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage allocation is €6.3 billion in 2023, with an overview of the measures outlined below:
- The Help to Buy Scheme is extended to the end of 2024.
- If you are paying for private rented accommodation, you can claim a new Rent Tax Credit of €500 a year for 2022 and subsequent years. This tax credit applies to each tenant rather than each tenancy. You will be able to claim this credit for rent paid in 2022 early in 2023.
- The tax deduction for pre-letting expenses on vacant residential properties has doubled to €10,000 per property. The period of time a property must have been vacant to claim these expenses has been reduced from 12 months to 6 months.
- A Vacant Homes Tax (VHT) will be introduced in 2023. This will apply to residential properties which are occupied for less than 30 days in a 12-month period. The tax will be calculated at 3 times a property’s base Local Property Tax rate.
- A Defective Concrete Products Levy will be introduced to help pay for the Defective Concrete Blocks Redress Scheme. It will be a 10% levy on concrete blocks, pouring concrete and other concrete products. It will apply from 3 April 2023.
- Stamp Duty Residential Development Refund Scheme is extended to the end of 2025.
- Farm Consolidation Stamp Duty Relief is extended to the end of 2025.
Social and affordable housing
- Capital funding of €2.3 billion has been allocated for social and affordable housing in 2023. The funding is expected to deliver 9,100 new build social homes and over 5,550 affordable and cost rental homes.
- Funding for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme will be €544 million in 2023. This will provide 8,800 new HAP tenancies and continue to support 58,400 existing HAP tenancies.
- Funding of €113 million for the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) will support 800 new RAS tenancies in 2023, and continue to support 16,500 households already in the scheme.
- Funding of €20 million is allocated in 2023 for the delivery of Traveller-specific accommodation.
Supports for homeless people
- Funding of €215 million has been allocated to homeless services in 2023. This will support local authorities providing emergency accommodation and other services and help people to exit homelessness.
Regeneration, adaptations and remediation
- In 2023, €30 million is allocated to the Croí Cónaithe Fund. This fund is used to refurbish vacant properties and help provide serviced sites for sale in towns and villages. It is also used to increase owner occupier apartment development in cities by activating planning permissions.
- €67 million is provided for 12,300 grants to adapt the homes of older people and people with a disability. A further €25 million is allocated for adaptation works to 1,800 existing social homes.
- Funding of €65 million is provided to support the remediation of homes affected by pyrite and defective concrete blocks under the Pyrite & Mica Remediation Scheme.
- Funding of €87 million is provided to retrofit at least 2,400 social homes to bring them to a BER of B2 to make them more energy efficient.
Open consultations of Statutory Plans
Galway City Development Plan 2023-2029
Galway City Council have released Proposed Material Alterations to the Draft Galway City Development Plan 2023-2029. The Proposed Material Alterations to the Draft Galway City Development Plan 2023-2029, accompanying maps and associated environmental assessments are available for inspection from Thursday 8th September to Thursday 6th October 2022, inclusive.
Submissions or observations in relation to the Proposed Material Alterations are welcome and can be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, using the online portal following registration at consult.galwaycity.ie or by post to Senior Planner, Planning Department, City Hall, College Road, Galway, H91 X4K8 before Thursday 6th October 2022.
Kildare County Development Plan 2023-2029
Kildare County Council have released Proposed Material Alterations to the Draft Kildare County Development Plan 2023-2029. The Proposed Material Alterations to the Draft Kildare County Development Plan 2023-2029, accompanying maps and associated environmental assessments are available for inspection from 28th September to Thursday 27th October 2022, inclusive.
Submissions or observations in relation to the Proposed Material Alterations are welcome and can be made via the online portal following registration at consult.kildarecoco.ie or by post to Kildare County Development Plan 2023-2029, c/o Senopr Executive Officer, Planning Department, Kildare County Council, Aras Chill Dara, Devoy Park, Naas, Co. Kildare, before 4pm on Thursday 27th October 2022.
Maynooth and Environs Joint Local Area Plan 2024-2030 Pre-Draft Public Consultation
Kildare County Council and Meath County Council are commencing the preparation of a joint Local Area Plan (LAP) for Maynooth and its environs. For this purpose, a joint consultation portal specifically for the Maynooth Local Area Plan process has been created by Kildare County Council and Meath County Council to ensure all submissions and reports from both County Council’s can be viewed in the same space.
The portal can be reached at consult.maynooth.ie where you can view the Issues paper and Make your submission.