Work has yet to begin on over 7,000 homes in south central DublinGary Ibbotson 05 Jan 2023
Construction has yet to commence on over 7,000 homes that have been granted planning permission in the Dublin South Central area since 2018, Dublin City Council has revealed.
Overall, there are 118 developments in the area that have been given permission by the planning board to proceed but have not yet begun.
The figures were disclosed by Dublin City Council after answering a question tabled by Labour councillor Darragh Moriarty.
In 2022, planning permission was granted to 1929 units across 20 developments that have not yet started while work has not commenced on over 4,000 units across 56 developments that were granted planning permission in 2020 and 2021.
In 2018 and 2019, 43 developments and over 1,000 homes were given planning permission but work on these have also not yet begun.
A recent report commissioned by the Government and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform raised concerns that the construction and delivery of housing is potentially being deliberately slowed by some developers who are engaging in land speculation.
“Data reported by the CSO and the Dublin Housing Supply Coordination Taskforce indicates a sharp increase in the number of apartment units with planning permission that have yet to begin construction since 2018,” the report says.
The traditional understanding of land speculation is not as common in Ireland as it once was but the report found but that the prospect of purchasing land with pre-approved planning permission attached is a growing attraction for developers.
“Someone who buys a parcel of land, acquires planning permissions, then sells the parcel of land to a developer is effectively offering the service of acquiring planning permission,” it says.
“The more the planning process is a source of uncertainty and risk for developers, the more value added to a piece of land by acquiring planning permission, and the greater the incentive is to obtain planning permission to increase the value of a parcel of land intended for resale, rather than development.
“Beyond reducing risk for developers, acquiring planning permission on land that is held as an asset could provide clarity on its option value by specifying the kinds of development that could go ahead on that land in the future.”
Moriarty says that he’d have “huge concerns that this practice is exactly what we’re seeing in my own area of Dublin South Central.