I welcome changes to the planning laws which would see three types of planning applications designated as exempted developments.
Proposed changes to the Planning Act would see development by Irish Water related to the provision of water services or maintenance type works exempted. The change of use relating to the conversion of vacant commercial premises to residential use would also be exempt, as would the undertaking of work to support the rollout of the National Broadband Plan and extend mobile phone coverage.
‘I particularly welcome the changes which relate to the change of use of certain types of vacant buildings to bring them back into use as homes in our towns and villages. Every day and every week in towns and villages across Ireland I see empty shops and ‘over the shop’ type space which could and should be converted for residential use, but owners are put off by the high cost and the difficulty of obtaining planning permission.
‘This change should result in an increased housing supply, while also breathing new life into our towns and villages. I’m glad to see positive changes to the planning system, which reflect and address the current homelessness crisis and make the provision of housing easier and more streamlined.
‘I look forward to hundreds of housing units in county Galway being brought back into use through these exemptions, adding to the vibrancy and life in our towns and villages and ensuring that this valuable resource is not wasted because of needless bureaucracy.’