It may ‘take decades’ to fix housing delivery, says leading housebuilder

Lioncor chief executive cites ‘planning blockages and general inertia’

A leading housebuilder has said that it may take decades for the current crippling effect on housing delivery to be fixed “given the current planning blockages and general inertia”.

The chief executive of Lioncor, John Maxwell, made his comment after Dublin City Council granted planning permission to Lioncor plans to construct a 208 unit ‘social and affordable’ apartment scheme in Terenure.

The council has granted planning permission despite strong local opposition with the planning authority receiving in excess of 45 third party submissions.

The scheme comprises five blocks rising to six storeys made up of 104 one-bed and 104 two-bed apartments on the Carlisle site located to the north and east of the Ben Dunne Gym, at Kimmage Rd West, Terenure.


Mr Maxwell said on Tuesday that the firm was delighted to have secured a grant of planning “for this important social and affordable scheme”.

“We simply need to build more homes for all sectors of society. Our team are ready to activate this planning permission immediately and we hope to commence on site during Q2 of this year.”

Mr Maxwell said that an appeal to An Bord Pleanála “would add 16 weeks to our timeline but given An Bord Pleanála have already granted a similar scheme under the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) planning, we are hopeful of a positive decision if appealed”.

“The current planning backlog allied to the court backlog from judicial reviews of planning decisions is having a crippling effect on housing delivery,” he said.

“With a deficit of 250,000 homes plus an annual required run rate of 50,000-60,000 units means it will be decades before this problem is fixed given the current planning blockages and general inertia. This is a real concern for Ireland’s competitiveness and our ability to continue to attract foreign direct investment.”

“There is a housing crisis, but no one seems willing to drop the politics and deal with the issue,” Mr Maxwell said.

The council planning report which recommended planning permission said that the redevelopment of the vacant site for residential development was “welcomed and represents a more efficient use of the lands”.

The report also said that the heights and quantum of development were appropriate at this location within an established residential area of Kimmage.

The chairman of the Kimmage Rd West Residents Association, Paul Kenny, told the Council that “the height and scale of the proposed development is in contravention of the Dublin City Development Plan”.

He further argued that this was “not a development which will support the provision of affordable and social housing”.

Mr Kenny said that “the indicated price of the units is certainly not affordable”.

Last year Lioncor secured planning permission for a €106 million apartment scheme which also contained 208 units for the same site under An Bord Pleanála’s ‘fast-track’ process.

However, that permission was challenged in the High Court by way of Judicial Review by the Kimmage Dublin Residents Alliance CLG.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times