Regulations to turn vacant pubs into new homes to be in place this week

Regulations for a planning exemption to enable the conversion of vacant pubs into homes have been approved by the Dáil and Seanad, a Fine Gael Senator has said

Waterford Senator John Cummins, who has been working on this proposal for some time, said these regulations will help drive much needed housing supply across our cities, towns and villages.

Senator Cummins, Seanad Spokesperson for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, said, “Draft regulations to exempt vacant pubs from needing planning permission if being converted into residential units came before the Dáil and Seanad today. The regulations were approved by both Houses of the Oireachtas and will be in place by the end of this week.

“Even before the onset of Covid-19, many vacant and derelict pubs existed within our communities. Seeing these properties lie empty in prime locations goes completely against the grain when workers and families are in need of affordable and high-quality housing.

“I have been campaigning to change this for many months, both at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing and directly with Ministers Darragh O’Brien and Peter Burke in the Department of Housing.

“The potential to turn vacant pubs into new homes was also a key feature of the Fine Gael discussion paper on housing vacancy and renewal published recently by my colleague Deputy Emer Higgins and I.

“Nearly 1400 residential units have been delivered through the use of these planning exemption regulations since they were introduced in 2018, with 676 of these being delivered in 2021 alone, indicating a clear increase in uptake. I believe the extension of these regulations to include vacant pubs will increase these figures even further.

“Vacant pubs are often in prominent locations, close to all services and amenities and they would make excellent homes. In fact, many even originally started off as residential units. The failure to include vacant pubs under the previous regulations often resulted in needless planning delays.

“With this new exemption, there is real potential here to fast track the delivery of more houses across the country,” concluded Senator Cummins.

Senator John Cummins

Future of the Defenc
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