Seanad debates

Tuesday, 5 March 2024

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Development Contributions

1:00 pm

Photo of Malcolm NoonanMalcolm Noonan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Green Party) | Oireachtas source

The development contribution waiver scheme has made a positive contribution to the highest level of annual residential commencements in 2023 since records began in 2014. This means that the uplift in new home delivery experienced in 2023, when almost 32,600 new homes were completed in Ireland, will be sustained in 2024 and into the coming years. Almost 33,000 new homes were commenced in 2023, which is an increase of 22% over the 27,000 new housing starts in 2022. That is very impressive and is an upward trajectory in the right direction.

Given the significant exemptions from planning that exist for refurbishment for residential use, many existing vacant buildings do not require planning permission and would not, therefore, be subject to development contributions. There is also significant grant aid available to bring such buildings back into use.

The vacant property refurbishment grant is playing a really important role in bringing vacant and derelict properties back into use as homes with some 6,800 applications to date, which is very impressive. Together with a range of measures that were introduced by this Government, the development contribution waiver scheme has played a part in accelerating housing commencements. The waiver scheme has been impactful precisely because it is a limited and time-bound measure for a specific period. We will continue to provide funding supports targeting the refurbishment of vacant and derelict properties for residential use but it is not intended to extend the waiver scheme beyond the closing date of 25 April 2024.


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