David McWilliams: Flipping rezoned land is nothing short of a State-sanctioned heist

When it comes to land flipping the sucker is the taxpayer – land prices have soared with the stroke of a pen and at your expense

Computer generated image of the proposed Jam Factory scheme at Chivers site in Coolock, which is on the market seeking €25 million

Computer generated image of the proposed Jam Factory scheme at Chivers site in Coolock, which is on the market seeking €25 million

Two weeks ago this column examined the Government’s proposed Housing for All initiative. One of the significant positives is an undertaking to prevent “flipping” of sites after planning permission is acquired.

Flipping is a process whereby someone buys non-zoned land and then makes the right noises to the council about what could be done with the site in the public interest, such as how many homes could be built on it and the like. Once the zoning is acquired, the value of the land rockets. But rather than carry out the building, the land speculator sells the land on to another developer and trousers the difference in the land value.

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