Figures show major rise in the number of granted planning permissions

Figures show major rise in the number of granted planning permissions

The number of planning permissions granted in the last three months of 2015 has almost doubled.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office show the approvals for homes jumped more than 95% compared with the final quarter of 2014.

More than 4,000 dwelling units received planning permission, compared with 2,057 in the last three months of 2014.

The trend for building houses over apartments is continuing, with permissions granted for 2,754 houses compared to 1,263 apartment units.

The Irish Planning Institute has called for the immediate establishment of the Office of the Planning Regulator if Ireland is to "avert repeating its past planning mistakes".

The Institute has also called on the next government to appoint a Minister for Planning & Housing.

Deirdre Fallon, President of the Irish Planning Institute, outlined some key planning priorities for the next Government at their annual conference in Athlone today.

They are:

* The need to set up a free Planning and Environmental Advice Service, along the lines of the UK's Planning Aid service, for members of the public, and to encourage greater public participation in the development plan process and planning system.

* The need to update the current "crude" listing system for heritage buildings and to introduce financial incentives to offset concerns about the cost of refurbishing buildings.

*The need to provide legislative clarity around the term "planner".

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