Fianna Fáil’s plans ‘use it or lose it’ penalties for developers

Developers would be subject to “use it or lose it” penalties under Fianna Fáil plans.

The party has set out its proposals for Dublin City, which would include a directly elected mayor, a freeze on public transport fares, and two new garda units to tackle anti-social behaviour and serious organised crime.

Fianna Fáil would give local authorities new “use it or lose it” powers to encourage developers to build and stop “land hoarding”.

Under the plan, Dublin councils would also be urged to provide automatic residential planning permission within building regulations to small vacant sites in the city and inner suburbs.

However, this would expire within two years if not used, and developers could face other monetary penalties.

The party’s Dublin spokesman, Senator Darragh O’Brien, said: “We do believe in penalties. We don’t want people hoarding land. There is a housing crisis there.

“It would be a penalty in relation to a tax penalty and also looking at rezoning for land. We did propose this in the previous government as well, where you would have a penalty of up to 80% of the value if that was sold on and it wasn’t used in the time.

“What we are trying it do is incentivise people to move it along,” he said.

Fianna Fáil’s plans ‘use it or lose it’ penalties for developers

Mr O’Brien said the measures outlined in ‘A Dublin for All’ are aimed at tackling crime and homelessness, and improving health and transport services.

The party would aim to address gangland activity through the establishment of a serious and organised crime unit in Dublin.

He said: “We’ve seen unfortunately very, very recently serious gangland crime, murders within our city and county.

“As that has happened this Government has taken 700 guards away from Dublin.

“We are committing to 700 additional guards, Dublin public order unit, and a Dublin transport police.

“This needs to be tackled. Our citizens deserve to be safe.”

However, the number of gardaí in this new unit, as well as another unit to address public order in the city centre, would be decided by An Garda Síochána and would have to be taken out of the 700 additional members promised.

Tougher measures to stop repeat burglaries, and mandatory sentences for assaults on older people are also contained in the proposals.

Mr O’Brien said: “We will also get tough on burglars. Parts of the capital have seen a jump of almost 80% in recorded burglaries over the past two years.

“We will have mandatory sentences for repeat burglary offenders.

“We will also establish a dedicated Dublin City Centre Garda Public Order Unit to combat drug dealing and anti-social behavior on the capital’s main commercial streets,” he said.

Rent supplement levels would be increased by 10%, and

the party has also committed to delivering 15,500 social homes for Dublin in the next five years if elected to power.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said protection from the vulture funds for SMEs and mortgage holders is a key issue that must be immediately dealt with by the incoming government.

Fianna Fáil’s plans ‘use it or lose it’ penalties for developers

“There have been very worrying reports over the weekend that vulture funds are holding back on taking action against SMEs and mortgage holders until after the election,” he said.

“Clearly these funds feel that there is limited sanction in the law as it currently stands to prevent putting SMEs into receivership or seeking repossession of family and buy to let properties.

“The incoming Dáil must amend the legislation to ensure that any borrower who has entered into a restructuring arrangement and who is sticking to it, cannot have that payment structure cancelled by the acquirer of a loan or an agent operating on their behalf.”

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