Taoiseach defends objection to housing development in his constituency

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has today defended his objections to a housing development in his own constituency.

He has lodged an objection to the four-storey development, despite encouraging councils to look to build more high-rise accommodation.

Speaking as he visited the final day of the National Ploughing Championships in Co Offaly, he said: “My constituency is also one that was blighted by bad planning, particularly by Fianna Fáil, building houses and apartments without putting the infrastructure in first.

“So I’m very much for development, very much for housing construction in all parts of the country.

“But there’s a difference between being in favour of development and being in favour of every single development, and I think it’s always the prerogative of a Councillor or a TD to objective to particular developments that they may see as inappropriate.”

Earlier today, Junior Housing Minister Damien English denied that the Taoiseach's position was hypocritical - despite him advocating for similar developments in other areas.

"While there is an urgency in tackling a housing crisis and brining forward new developments on zoned land through out the country, we still respect the right of people to object to planning," said Minister English.

"We're trying to find ways to deal with those objections quicker, and to make the process quicker. But the right is there for anybody - you, me or the Taoiseach."

He added that the current crisis facing the country will not be fixed overnight, and that while the Government is making great progress, it is not enough to solve the problem.

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