Construction firm lobbies two councils over proposal to allow small gardens – The Meczyki Times

A construction company which has suggested the government restore planning regulations to allow housing developments with small gardens, two local authorities also lobbied on the proposals.

Glenveagh Properties presented its ‘Sustainable Compact Growth Design Standards’ report to Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien in March.

Its return to the lobbying register shows that company representatives also made proposals to senior management at Fingal and Wicklow county councils – two places where it plans to build hundreds of homes in the coming years.

The report by Glenveagh Properties – one of the largest housebuilders in the state – recommends that the current standards of a 60sqm garden for a typical three-bedroom house be reduced to 40sqm.

It also recommends less focus on building more tightly built streets and apartments, arguing that “there is no appetite for owner-occupied apartments outside the M50 (and limited within the M50)”.

Glenveag held separate meetings with Fingal and Wicklow County Councils in April.

Their respective chief executives AnnMarie Farrelly and Brian Gleeson are among those lobbied by Glenveagh.

Glenveagh described the desired outcome of the lobbying as “changes to the Section 28 guidelines”.

These are the planning authorities’ guidelines on “sustainable and compact settlements”.

Glenveagh has made a number of planning permission applications to both Fingal and Wicklow County Councils in recent years.

A plan for 548 homes over a decade in the Dublin 15 area of ​​Fingal and a proposal to build 150 homes in two phases in Rathnew in Co Wicklow is being considered by Anbord Pleinala.

Glenveagh Properties did not directly respond to a question about whether it would seek to amend existing planning applications to increase the number of housing units if the regulations were changed to allow smaller garden sizes. .

A spokesman for Glenveagh said: “As we revealed in the Public Register, the aim of these meetings was to determine how better use of private outdoor space would reduce the current reliance on apartments and make more of our homes. It will help meet the demand.” .

The company argues that this will ultimately lead to “lower prices, more supply and overall more private outdoor space in new developments.”

The spokesman said: “We have nothing to add to what has been disclosed in the public register.”

When asked by The Meczyki Times on Thursday, none of the county councils gave any indication whether their respective administrations supported Glenvey’s proposals.

A spokesman for Fingal County Council said: “Housing delivery remains a priority for the council and Fingal has an ambitious social and affordable housing construction program underway alongside homes being built in private developments.

“This has been done as per the existing guidelines and keeping in view the fungal development plan.”

A spokesman for Wicklow County Council said it “has no comment on any individual company’s report”.

He said: “When making a decision on any planning application, the planning authority must take into account various factors, including the provisions of the county development plan and ministerial guidelines, taking into account the appropriate planning and sustainable development of the area. It has to be done.”

Similarly, a spokesman for the Department of Housing did not offer Mr O’Brien’s views on Glenveagh’s proposals.

Compact development of cities and towns is a key objective of the national planning framework to create more attractive places for people to live and work and contribute to a “low-carbon, climate-resilient society,” he said. .

The spokesman said the Housing for All plan was “committed to the development of sustainable and compact settlement guidance” and the department was in the process of developing section 28 guidelines for planning authorities.

There will be a public consultation on the guidelines developed by working groups comprising representatives from the construction industry and the public sector.

These will undergo further review before being submitted to the Minister for approval to publish.

The spokesman added: “Once issued, planning authorities and a Bord Pleinala will have to take into account the guidelines in carrying out their functions.”