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Delivering Ireland's Property Needs

Key Issues:
 Delays caused by inefficiencies and lack of resources in planning between the date when a project becomes viable and date of commencement add costs to delivery which are ultimately borne by consumers.

 Delays add to the cost of delivery and undermine improvements to the cost of construction. Ireland has one of the most efficient construction industries, but an inefficient planning system. A national protocol for bonding and other financial requirements by LAs should be introduced to provide certainty, transparency and consistency.

 Cumulatively, the CGT windfall tax, Part V provisions and development contributions undermine the financial viability of necessary projects. Together, they should be properly evaluated so that a more transparent, fair and equitable funding model can be created without undermining the viability of necessary new development.

 A lack of accountability, transparency and enforceable, statute-based deadlines for decisions by planning authorities and An Bord Pleanala add to uncertainty to the date of commencement and therefore increase the cost of delivery. Requirements for excessive detail and undue rigidity in planning also delay commencement, undermining the viability of development.

 The Local Property Tax as an income stream to LAs gives an opportunity to review development contributions and other charges, and fund local capital improvement schemes through municipal bonds. Current provision of infrastructure is fractured, with responsibility split between local authorities and central government. A National Infrastructure Authority should supervise the delivery of infrastructure at all levels.

 Wage rates have not lowered in line with professional fees and the cost of construction products and plant. The professional registration of builders, architects and surveyors will assist in project delivery. The inspection regime in the new Building Regulations has the potential to slow construction. Resources are needed at LA level to ensure inspections do not unduly delay construction.

 There is a potential for private pension funds to invest in social and affordable housing as an alternative to reformed Part V requirements. Provision should be made to finance the availability of accommodation of the elderly and the active retired.

 Teamwork is needed between universities, city councils and planning authorities to improve the planning and financial viability of the provision of student accommodation and rental accommodation for post-graduates and visiting academics and their families.

 There are opportunities to create a deposit guarantee scheme, and the reintroduction of stage payment schemes to assist in the financing of new projects.

 NAMA may need legislative reform to up skill and position it to meet the new property environment, so that it can act as a positive, engaged and trusted partner between developers, banks, taxpayers and other property partners to deliver the timely commencement of necessary and viable projects.
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