Property industry and the housing crisis

 

Sir, – Eoin Burke-Kennedy (Business, October 25th) has hit the nail on the head. In accepting property industry lobbying, the Government has created a monster that has patently failed to address the provision of affordable housing.

What we will have instead is the equivalent of the cruise liners at Venice, moored forever and towering over their surroundings, with no local being able to buy a ticket!

The figures for actual supply from Strategic Housing Developments (SHD) are stark: Over 71,000 units granted full permission, of which commencement notices have been served on less than 10,711. The actual commencements are likely to be fewer.

In addition to these, there are only 9,349 apartments or houses under Judicial Review not the higher figures mooted by the industry. To date, 5,935 have been conceded or quashed, suggesting they were fundamentally flawed. These figures do not include those refused permission – of the 352 applications to date, more than 70 have been refused (at least 7,000 units).

If the system of allowing material contraventions to be permitted without normal process, as they can be under section 28(1)(c), are found to be unconstitutional, then the whole apparatus pushed by the property industry will collapse.

This is the issue that is causing the most damage. Of the 352 SHD applications, 141 are for material contraventions to agreed local development plans, nearly all of which are recent applications. This is wrong. The sole beneficiaries of this failed system are the lobbyists themselves, at great cost to society. Government must stop listening to them. – Yours, etc,

ROBIN MANDAL FRIAI

Clonskeagh, Dublin 6.