SCSI raises concerns over low levels of planning applications compared to demand

A new monitor of residential planning activity in the Dublin region across the 4 local authorities shows that there were 2,363 planning applications of 25+ unit schemes in the first quarter of the year.

This was an increase of 6% compared to the final quarter of 2014 (2,234 permissions), but is down 40% on the number of similar applications for Q3 2014 (3,734 permissions).

The new Quarterly Housing Development Monitor is published by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), the professional representative body for the property, land and construction sectors, in conjunction with Future Analytics Consulting. It shows the following planning permissions were granted (for 25+ unit schemes):

  • 4 developments comprising 232 units in the Dublin City local authority area
  • 2 developments comprising 275 units in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown local authority area
  • 5 developments comprising 1009 units in the Fingal Local authority area
  • 4 developments comprising 847 units in the South Dublin local authority area

This contrasts with the minimum housing requirements for each local authority area in the Dublin Region, which have been found to be:

  • 13,751 units between 2014-18 (2,750 units per year) in the Dublin City Council area;
  • 3,299 units between 2014-18 (660 units per year) in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council area;
  • 9,617 units between 2014-18 (1,923 units per year) in the Fingal County Council area;
  • 8,766 units between 2014-18 (1,753 units per year) in the South Dublin County Council area

1,605 units were commenced in the Dublin region in Q1:

  • 285 units were commenced in in the Dublin City Council area
  • 450 units were commenced in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council area;
  • 761 units were commenced in the Fingal County Council area;
  • 109 units were commenced in the South Dublin County Council area

Andrew Nugent, Vice President of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland said “Planning permissions are a good indicator of the levels of supply that will be brought to the market and the SCSI has concerns that the permissions granted in Q1 2015 are 40% lower than those in Q3 2014 and that this will have a knock on effect on an already supply constrained market”.

“The SCSI has identified that at least 7,000 new units per year are needed in Dublin – this is the minimum level required. If the current commencement figures continue at the same level as in the first quarter we will not reach that target”.

The SCSI called for the speedy implementation of the Planning & Development (No. 1) General Scheme which enacts measures outlined in the Government’s Construction 2020 Strategy which are aimed at increasing supply.

“The SCSI has expressed concern that some developers may now be postponing the lodgement of planning applications until the proposed Planning & Development No. 1 Bill is in place to avail of lower Part V* requirements and development contributions. In order to improve supply levels, we need to see the urgent implementation of the proposed Bill”, he said.

The SCSI also highlighted the availability of its online tool to support the provision of more public data on planning and development.

“The SCSI has a free interactive land mapping online tool available on its website which shows all the zoned land, planning permissions and infrastructure in the Dublin region across the 4 local authority areas. The purpose of the tool is to provide more transparency and data on the land available in Dublin and to support developers, planners and estate agents in property decision making”, concluded Nugent.