An Bord Pleanála approves 7,000 houses and 4,500 student beds through fast track scheme

An Bord Pleanála approves 7,000 houses and 4,500 student beds through fast track scheme

More than 7,000 houses and almost 4,500 student beds were approved under the fast-track planning scheme introduced by the government in July 2017.

The Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme sees applications submitted directly to An Bord Pleanála in a bid to speed up the development process.

The figures were revealed by An Bord Pleanála in its end of year casework review.

The SHD legislation came into effect in July 2017. It means that applications of 100+ housing units or 200+ student-bed spaces/shared accommodation are made directly to An Bord Pleanála.

By the end of December 2018, 52 valid applications for SHDs had been submitted of which 39 were decided in 2018, with permission granted in 27 cases for a total of 7,102 housing units (3,284 houses and 3,818 apartments) and 4,479 student bed spaces.

A mandatory timeline of 16 weeks to decide all strategic housing applications was met for all decisions issued.

Dave Walsh, chairman of An Bord Pleanála, said its performance in relation to SHD has been very strong, with the 39 cases decided during 2018 all well within the 16-week target.

We expect a significant increase in housing applications in 2019, and we will continue to prioritise these cases and deal with any large-scale housing appeals expeditiously.

A further 21 strategic housing applications are due for decision over the next four months.

In total, these developments account for a proposed 2,309 bed spaces and some 4,502 housing units.

The casework report also shows that An Bord Pleanála failed to meet the required deadline for making decisions in almost two-thirds of appeals cases.

The planning authority is subject to a compliance period of 18 weeks. The average length of time taken to rule on a case was 22 weeks.

In 2017, 64% of cases were decided within this window. Last year, that dropped to just 38% which has been attributed to a backlog that had been generated the previous year.

Mr Walsh said: "While it is acknowledged that our capacity and performance to meet our statutory objective period of 18 weeks for appeals has been impacted by the transition to our new IT system (Plean-IT), an increase in overall caseload as well as the fall-out from reduced board capacity, we have made strong progress to turn things around in recent months."

"In 2018, we recorded a 32% increase in the number of cases decided over the previous year, with over 2,800 decisions made.

"In November and December alone, we decided almost 600 cases (up 35% on the same months in 2017) and reduced the number of cases on hand by more than 300 from over 1,355 to just over 1,000 files currently."

In all, An Bord Pleanála handled 2,734 cases last year, a 6% increase from the previous year - 64% of these related to residential developments.

"It has set a target of deciding on 80% of appeals cases within 18 weeks by the fourth quarter of 2019 'having worked through and cleared the majority of the case backlog during the first half of this year'.

More on this topic

Kildare farmer lodges fresh objection against new Intel applicationKildare farmer lodges fresh objection against new Intel application

An Bord Pleanála uphold planning refusal for Cork Educate Together Secondary SchoolAn Bord Pleanála uphold planning refusal for Cork Educate Together Secondary School

Property companies in Carlow embroiled in planning rowProperty companies in Carlow embroiled in planning row

Call to ensure developers of large-scale housing projects not obtaining planning permission to turn a profitCall to ensure developers of large-scale housing projects not obtaining planning permission to turn a profit


More in this Section

Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo cancelled due to stormWild Lights at Dublin Zoo cancelled due to storm

In pictures: The first look at Storm Atiyah as it hits IrelandIn pictures: The first look at Storm Atiyah as it hits Ireland

Traffic chaos which blighted 'All Together Now' festival could have been avoided - GardaiTraffic chaos which blighted 'All Together Now' festival could have been avoided - Gardai

10% of GPs have signed up to provide abortion services, HSE confirm10% of GPs have signed up to provide abortion services, HSE confirm


Lifestyle

Overshadowed by its giant neighbours it may be, but the smallest of the main Blasket islands, Beginish, is no less impressive in its own right.The Islands of Ireland: The miracle of Beginish

‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten — Psalm 90How to tell an animal’s age in a heartbeat

We often hear how nature will do well, even come back from the brink of extinction, if given a chance and some human help.Birds of prey on the rise

In our country we still have places that bear no evidence of disturbance by man, that are in their pristine state and rich with all the elements that feed the spirit and deliver us into the world beyond the skin of the time and circumstances we live in.Unique ambience of Dursey Island under threat

More From The Irish Examiner