Land and the housing crisis

Published date23 November 2022
Publication titleIrish Times: Web Edition Articles (Dublin, Ireland)
In order to develop a particular area in a logical and planned way, which is desirable and to the common good, especially as the population is projected to grow massively with inward migration, it is necessary to have availability of the required land at a particular time in the development of an area to ensure rational expansion

What worked 50 years ago is no longer fit for purpose.

Currently, the only form of "planning" that we have is to rezone far and wide, in the hope that a landowner somewhere within that expansive land rezone will be persuaded to sell some land to a builder or developer, normally at great expense above the price of agricultural land.

So we get pocket development over wider areas, with negative consequences for provision of public services (shops, medical facilities, schools, public transport, etc), rather than structured and logical concentrated development of a district.

By being able to buy a particular field or fields at a particular time, proper planning and structured development, which is desirable and to the common good, can be achieved.

A change from widespread rezoning to targeted designation of lands is desirable.

The planners can then plan for the proper and full development of a particular area, allowing from the beginning for the provision of necessary public services. Landowners would know in advance when their land is likely to be purchased by State CPO, but that land would only be purchased as and when required, not hoarded by the State in large land banks, lying idle.

The State would only retrieve the costs it incurred when releasing land for building or development.

The State would retain ownership of the land until the development is sold to the final purchaser, cutting out cost-increasing speculation, and only recoup such costs as it has incurred...

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