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PLACEengage is all about public consultation and community engagement and only this week a public consultation opened on Strategic Housing Developments (SHDs) and the planning provisions that are currently in place.

The public is invited to voice their opinion on the next step in the SHD provisions as under a section of the 2016 Act, the SHD provisions only apply for an initial period which is until the end of this year. In accordance with the Act, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government may, by order, extend the initial period by a further and also limited period of two years bringing it up to the end of 2021, which coincides with the end timeframe of Rebuilding Ireland. Such continuations and order can’t be made until the Minister reviews the operation and most importantly, the effectiveness of the SHD arrangements. This must be done before the 30th October 2019 and requires the conclusions of the review to be brought to both Houses of the Oireachtas. 

The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 (the 2016 Act) introduced new streamlined arrangements, for a limited time period, to enable quicker planning applications for strategic housing developments (SHDs). Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government backed the provisions in the hope that it would improve housing supply and fasten up housing delivery at a time when the country is under pressure to keep up with the housing demand. 

The Shared Housing Developments must be of 100 or more housing units, or student accommodation of 200 or more bed spaces, or shared accommodation developments of 200 or more bed spaces and these developments planning applications are made directly to An Bord Pleanála (the Board) for them to make a decision on the application. Cutting the decision making process is a huge time saver and allows for developers to have more certainty in the planning application and systems. The decision to cut out the local councils and community engagement was regarded as an opportunity to facilitate more housing supply while adhering to planning and development guidelines. 

According to the Housing, Planning and Local Government website, the public consultation has been launched to allow relevant stakeholders, including the public to have the opportunity to voice their opinion on the matter. Written submissions can be made on the SHD arrangements and they will be forwarded to the Review Group tasked with considering all opinions and establishing a report. The Review Group has been established by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy and public consultation is open until the 25th of July with the Review Group due to provide all their findings to the Minister by the end of September of this year. 

Have your say and use your voice!

Get involved by going on to the website here to find out more and voice your opinion.