No new houses in Wicklow Town until 2026 – Casey
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 infrastructure 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.