Cllr Peter Ormond told the recent Birr MD meeting that there is absolutely no construction work, either private or municipal, going on in Shinrone village at the moment, nor in a number other villages in Offaly.
He said the Part V housing arrangement was not working in the villages at the moment.
Under Part V of the Planning and Development Acts, planning permission for new housing developments requires that a certain portion of land – up to 20% – be set aside to meet the need for social and affordable housing.
Part V enables local authorities to achieve this strategy by requiring housing developers to enter into an agreement, with the appropriate local authority, to provide houses, fully or partially serviced sites, or land or an equivalent monetary contribution to social and affordable housing purposes. . It also defines the terms of these agreements and how compensation will be decided.
“We’ve brought a number of developers to Shinrone,” Cllr Ormond said, “and they just walk away. They say the building materials are too expensive. he buys houses.
The councilor said the private housing market is currently in a far from healthy state.
Principal Engineer John Cunningham said the level of building activity in smaller towns and villages is very low. “There is good activity in Tullamore and reasonable activity in Edenderry. Both of these places are way ahead of the rest of the county.
Cllr Peter Ormond said property activity in Birr was once ahead of Edenderry but that has now reversed.
“Overall it’s a very bad situation at the moment when it comes to housing in South Offaly,” he remarked. “Private housing development is simply not happening in the villages. Social housing activity is not where it should be and it is very difficult to find housing to rent.”
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