Friday 16 May 2008

Planners focus on Part V

A SUBJECT surrounded by great mystery and confusion, maybe Ireland's planners will finally get to the bottom of how Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 actually works.

They will be out in force on May 22nd for an IPI members only conference on Part V, "Lessons learnt, future directions".

Part V requires builders to set aside a percentage of new homes developments for social and affordable housing. So far, so straightforward, but some developers have been allowed give financial contributions to the local authorities in lieu of housing units or ignore the rule in swanky developments, offering alternative units in their less, shall we say, salubrious developments instead.

Speakers at the conference will include Nicholas Mansergh, who was involved in a recent court case relating to Part V. Barrister Brian Conroy will talk about recent case law relating to Part V and IHBA director Hubert Fitzpatrick will give the construction industry's perspective on how it will be implemented.

According to Dr Diarmuid O'Grada, planning consultant and lecturer in planning in UCD, another Part V issue is the "growing anomaly between the urban and rural contributions to Part V" and he says it has essentially become "a levy on apartments. The threshold is set at four units so it is predominantly apartments, and Dublin is making an inordinate contribution.

In rural areas where there is more one-off housing, there is a much lower contribution with Roscommon and Leitrim making zero contribution to Part V last year." He says the property tax was abolished because of similar inequities.

Irish Times

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