Claims It’s “Scandalous” That National Policy Is Preventing Councils From Zoning Lands For Housing

Housing, Mortgages

An East Clare Councillor claims it’s “scandalous” that national policy is preventing local authorities from zoning more land for residential use.

It comes amid concern that the pace of housing development here, isn’t at pace with population growth.

Concern has been mounting after the latest census figures revealed that housing development in Clare is not matching population growth.

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The population grew by 7% in this county since 2016, but despite this, housing stock has only increased by 4%.

Nationally, 50,000 houses would have to be built every year for the next decade to deal with current shortages.

It’s feared housing development in this county could stall though, as 50 towns and villages don’t have adequate wastewater infrastructure.

This means it might not be possible to build on much of the land zoned for residential use in the new County Development Plan.

A Clare developer is calling for the local authority to screen every zoned residential site in the county to see whether it can facilitate the building of houses.

Larry Brennan of Ennis-based Woodhaven Developments believes Clare County Council and its elected members may need to go back to the drawing board on the matter.

West Clare Fianna Fáil Councillor Cillian Murphy believes local authorities are being constrained by national policy based on outdated projections.

He says the shift in how and where people are living post pandemic hasn’t been taken into consideration as part of the planning process and he thinks this will have impact development.

An East Clare Councillor says towns and villages are dying on their knees due to a lack of infrastructure.

Bodyke Councillor Joe Cooney believes de-zoning lands is “crazy”, saying local authorities should hold the power power to zone more land and move forward with development.

He says its vitally important the Department of Housing heeds the concerns of those on the ground.

Listen to the full interview here: