Fast Track Planning for housing estates and more controls in Rental sector for 2017

May 25, 2017

The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 is the first in a series of planning reforms designed to reduce delays and create certainty with regard to planning for new housing development. The act follows the creation of a vacant-site tax, which will be payable from 2019, and reform of the private rented sector in 2016.This will be followed by a new statutory National Planning Framework and planning regulator later in 2017.

KEY PROVISIONS

Two provisions of the act will be of particular interest: a new fast-track planning process for large-scale housing developments; and reforms of the private rented sector. The legislation is being commenced in stages and, at the time of writing, regulations to give effect to many of the provisions are still awaited.

Part 2 of the act amends the Planning and Development Act 2000 to create a new category of permitted strategic infrastructure called ‘strategic housing development’. It guides applicants through a detailed statutory nine-week pre-application planning process, including consultation with the relevant local planning authority and prescribed bodies, prior to the lodgement of a planning application with a new Strategic Housing Division of An Bord Pleanála.

Part 3 of the act designates certain parts of Dublin and Cork, and some areas near Dublin, as rent pressure zones (RPZ) for a period of three years. In these areas, the maximum amount by which rent can be increased within residential tenancies, and between tenancies within the same property, is capped at 4% per year for three years.

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