“Ireland is awash with buildings that few people either can afford or want to purchase,” states a new report published by The National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (Nirsa).
Based at NUI Maynooth, Prof Rob Kitchin the Director of the State-funded academic institution said that a post-mortem is needed into the Government’s failure to control the property bubble… “An independent inquiry is needed to investigate all aspects of the planning system and its operation within and across different agencies and at all scales in Ireland including charges of localism, cronyism and clientelism,”… “It would be foolhardy to carry out a banking inquiry without also looking into planning mistakes” he said.
Findings of the report include:
- Reckless planning has left one in six houses uninhabited for most of the year
- More than 300,000 homes are currently unoccupied with 120,000 existing houses unlikely ever to be sold and there are more than 620 half-empty or unfinished “ghost estates”
- The Government failed to adequately oversee, regulate and direct local planning, and actively encouraged its excesses through tax incentives which greatly exacerbated the crisis
- Local authorities ignored good planning guidelines, regional and national objectives, sensible demographic profiling of potential demand and much of the land zoned lacks essential services
- Counties with most empty housing include Cavan, Longford, Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo; The number of houses in these counties soared by almost half during the boom and they have enough housing now zoned to feed demand for the next 27 years
- Nationally, there is enough excess housing and zoned land for the next 17 years
- Cork city has enough for the next 64 years, Monaghan for 59 years, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown for 47 years and Roscommon for 45 years
- And to top it all; new figures show work has begun on 10,942 homes since the start of 2009 — with more than 7,000 new homes completed this year already.
Property bubble enquiry:
- More than 300,000 homes are currently unoccupied: Why are we still building?
- Should there be an inquiry into the Government failure to control the property bubble?
- And if so… what should happen?