Thursday, 25 November 2021
Planning and Development (Amendment) (Large-scale Residential Development) Bill 2021 [Seanad]: Second Stage
Will the Acting Chairman ask the Minister to behave himself for a short while?
There were 61 occasions on which the CIF lobbied this Government on housing. Who is actually calling the shots here?
Not only that, Irish Institutional Property, whose members include property firm Cairn Homes and IRES REIT, the biggest landlord in the State, has made 18 representations to government. It lobbied the Government on 18 occasions. The Minister will be familiar with the problems associated with this kind of approach where developers, landowners and investment funds are calling the shots and dictating housing policy. Coming from north Dublin, the Fingal constituency, he will also be familiar with the damage that was done in the past in this area by some of his party colleagues down through the years who let the developers write policy and determine what happened in relation to planning. We paid a big price for that. There is a general perception that that was in the distant past but it is quite clear, given the level of lobbying that is going on, that it is still developers, landowners and funds that are determining housing policy. That is the only way to explain how this Government and the previous one utterly failed to address the housing crisis. These people are in the Minister’s ear. It is they who get attention, not the people who are struggling to try to get affordable housing. Those facts cannot be disputed.