No new houses in Wick­low Town un­til 2026 – Casey

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS -

PLAN­NING per­mis­sion for new houses in Wick­low Town will not be granted un­til 2026 un­der the terms of the new Na­tional Plan­ning Frame­work, Fianna Fáil Deputy Pat Casey told the Dáil.

He said the County De­vel­op­ment Plan adopted only a year ago and ap­proved by the De­part­ment of Hous­ing, Plan­ning and Lo­cal Govern­ment pro­vided for pop­u­la­tion growth there of 42,500 up to 2031.

‘How­ever, the Govern­ment’s pro­posed Na­tional Plan­ning Frame­work Im­ple­men­ta­tion Roadmap now pro­vides for pop­u­la­tion growth in Wick­low of 22,750 in that pe­riod, a de­crease of al­most 50%,’ he said.

‘That has se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions. Some €120 mil­lion has been in­vested in crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture in Wick­low town but plan­ning per­mis­sion for hous­ing in the town will not be granted un­til 2026 and even then only per­mis­sion for 20 houses will be granted.’

He said the Taoiseach stated in the Dáil that there is a hous­ing cri­sis. ‘We have the in­fras­truc- ture in Wick­low town and the Min­is­ter of State is say­ing that, with this roadmap, we can­not build a house un­til 2026. That does not make sense.’

Deputy Casey said Ark­low has not had a waste wa­ter treat­ment plant for 30 years but is now get­ting one. How­ever, un­der the plan only 24 houses may be built there per year.

In re­sponse, Min­is­ter of State said Deputies should not get side­tracked on the pop­u­la­tion caps.

‘They are not nec­es­sar­ily meant to be caps,’ he said. ‘They are pre­dic­tions of where we are try­ing to go. While I un­der­stand the de­bate has be­come fo­cused on that, we need to de­ter­mine how we can get this teased out to get agree­ment on plans that give us what we need for our coun­ties.

‘Fo­cus­ing on the pop­u­la­tions is miss­ing the point. We need to move away from the old and failed mod­els of just zone and build, which, while re­ward­ing landown­ers and de­vel­op­ers with high fi­nan­cial re­turns from spec­u­la­tive hous­ing de­vel­op­ment, did not tackle the longer-term is­sues fac­ing ex­ist­ing com­mu­ni­ties.’

Pat Casey TD.

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