Builders warn housing limits may halt construction in Kildare – The Irish Times

Major builders have claimed they could be forced to stop building new housing and mothball sites in Co Kildare because the housing targets for the Dublin commuter belt are too restrictive.

Builders O’Flynn, Cairn, Glenveagh and Ballymore, among the biggest in the market, have made a joint submission to Kildare County Council saying their proposed development plan risks reducing the supply of homes needed to tackle the housing crisis. The companies said they had collectively built more than 3,000 homes in Kildare in the last five years.

Separately, the state’s “bad bank”, the National Asset Management Agency (Nama), said the council’s reduced housing target for 2023-2029 would lead to dezoning of residential sites as serviced land not available for development. That was not in the public interest, she said, “particularly at a time of rising demand and chronic housing shortages.”

The council did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the filing.

A public consultation on the local authority’s draft development plan, which contains a target of 9,144 new homes by 2028, closed this week.

The 60-page submission by O’Flynn, Cairn, Glenveagh and Ballymore, collectively described as a “consortium of homebuilders”, takes issue with the goal, saying it is “insufficiently ambitious” and fails to address the worsening housing crisis. national and local. .

“Our clients face the very real prospect of having to close existing home construction sites and suspend the opening of new ‘off-the-shelf’ sites because they could exceed artificially derived ‘target numbers’ dictated by the [Department of Housing]”, read the presentation, written by Turley real estate consultants on behalf of the consortium.

“Our clients believe that the need for new housing in the county is greater than the draft plan suggests. If adopted in its current form, it will prevent the industry from providing the housing needed to meet the needs of local households now and in the future.

“To address the deficiencies identified in this report, the plan must zone a sufficient amount of land to ensure the required level of flexibility to proactively plan for the growing local housing need beyond the proposed housing goal.”

The presentation went on to say that stronger than expected population growth has been a driver of demand for housing in Co Kildare.

“The county had an estimated 247,413 residents as of 2020, some 11,500 more than anticipated by ESRI projections that support the proposed housing goal and already exceeding its 2023 forecast. All indications are that this strong population growth will continue. “, said. .

“Not planning for this population growth would not only perpetuate the local housing crisis, but also compromise the provision of key infrastructure and services.”

In his filing, Nama said significant, “well located” and primarily residential land assets in Celbridge, Leixlip and Newbridge could be dezoned under the plan. The current six-year housing target for Kildare represents a 50 percent reduction in the last development plan, Nama said.

“Dezoning serviced land to precisely meet housing goals is a waste of expensive infrastructure and is counterintuitive in times of housing crisis, particularly when sites are suitable for development by virtue of proximity to the development and established services,” he added.

“It would also undermine the government’s parallel goals of lowering land prices.”

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