Planning review set to make building homes easier for young people, Taoiseach says

Micheál Martin laments ‘shockingly high’ house prices and rules out serving in government with Sinn Féin

House prices in Ireland are “shockingly high” and a review of planning laws would lead to changes that would make it easier for young people to build homes, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said.

“The planning system in terms of the delivery of infrastructure and housing is problematic,” he said, adding that the Government’s “comprehensive” review, which he expects to be published in October, would “streamline” and make the process “more efficient”.

“The price of houses is shockingly high. I worry about young people in general, that their capacity to live in the cities where they were born is becoming less and less of a possibility. We need more supply,” he said. “There has to be planning. But I think the balance is kind of wrong at the moment.”

He said the shake-up would make it easier for young people to get planning permission for their own homes, and help fast-track housing projects and infrastructure.


Mr Martin expressed frustration at red tape holding up infrastructure work, such as the €1.3 billion river Shannon water-supply project, which would divert water from the Parteen Basin to Dublin. “It’s the biggest natural reservoir in the country and key to Dublin’s water supply,” he said. “The logic is crying out. It is something that has to be done. With a few days hot weather, we could go into a drought.”

David McNeill

David McNeill

David McNeill, a contributor to The Irish Times, is based in Tokyo