A new report by An Bord Pleanála has illustrated the regional imbalance of large housing, apartment and student accommodation development proposals, with the vast majority located in the Dublin and commuter region.
The planning authority has issued an update on the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme. Since July 2017, applications for housing developments of more than 100 units and student accommodation of over 200 bed-spaces are made directly to An Bord Pleanála, bypassing local authorities in order to speed up the planning process to ease the pressure on the housing market.
In the report, An Bord Pleanála confirmed that it made 31 rulings on schemes in the first six months of 2019. Of these, 23 were granted and eight refused. In total, they approved the development of a total of 5,237 housing units, including 1,870 houses, 2,953 apartments and 414 build-to-rent units, as well as a further 3,094 student bed spaces.
The report shows that development is largely concentrated in the Dublin and commuter region.
Of the 31 applications decided in the first half of the year, 16 were in Dublin, two in Meath, two in Louth, three in Kildare and one each in Wicklow and Wexford. Of the remaining six, four were in Cork and one each was in Galway and Waterford.
In the last few weeks, a fifth development in Cork - the 274-unit Ursuline Convent development in Blackrock - has been approved, though this will be factored into An Bord Pleanála's report for Q3, 2019.
Among the most significant decisions approved between April and June, 2019 was a 438-unit development in Tallaght, a 913-home proposal in Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, and a 297-home project in Gorey, Co Wexford.
There were also several major student apartment proposals approved, including an 817-bed proposal in Sandyford, Dublin 18, a 674-bed project in Galway City, and a 419-bed proposal overlooking the Lough in Cork city.
Proposals for 1,466 units were also refused between April and June.
Since January 2018, An Bord Pleanála has received 100 valid applications under the SHD scheme. Of these, 70 have been decided on, with permission granted in 50 cases. These included 12,339 housing units and 7,573 student bed-spaces.
All applications have been decided on within the target period of 16 weeks.