Planners call for Nama role


The Irish Planning Institute (IPI) has said the National Assets Management Agency (Nama) has presented the State with an opportunity to develop land in a way that would protect the quality of life of future generations.

IPI president Gerry Sheeran called on Minister of Finance Brian Lenihan to place "proper planning and sustainable development" at the centre of the future development of the land portfolio which the State will control under Nama.

In a statement released today, the institute said qualified and experienced planners should have a role to play in the determination of the economic value of each asset to ensure the portfolio is properly managed and developed in accordance with good planning principles.

“The State, through Nama, will ultimately hold a very large proportion of all developable property in the State and therefore the Nama bill must incorporate the principles of proper planning and sustainable development in dealing with this massive property and land bank portfolio,” Mr Sheeran said.

According to the IPI, development of land banks should take place in such a way as would provide social and recreational infrastructure with residential development, including schools, healthcare, community facilities, parks and playing fields.

The institute warned that, in the past, the objective of securing the best possible return on land when pursued by landowners and developers often resulted in bad planning and unsustainable zoning and has contributed to the current financial problems of the State.”

“Nama presents an opportunity to obtain land in the control of the State which from a planning perspective has the advantage of facilitating a ‘plan led’ rather than a ‘developer-led’ approach."

"Good planning can increase the value of land (by achieving a better use mix or by providing public infrastructure such as public transport) or can ensure the provision of social infrastructure (schools, community facilities, parks and social housing) in a timely and coherent fashion,” the statement said.