The Oireachtas Committee on Housing has been told, by representatives from the Department of Housing, that it is drafting a "use it or lose it" law relative to planning permissions granted for housing development. This is being proposed where is reported that fewer than 30% of the permissions granted under the Strategic Housing Development scheme have been implemented. The SHD scheme was introduced in 2016 in response to the housing crisis to "fast track" planning applications for large scale housing. The SHD scheme is due to expire in February 2022, but reports suggest that the "use it or lose it" provisions are intended to continue for large scale housing developments after it expires.
At the same meeting, representatives of An Bord Pleanála noted that the 30% figure may not fairly represent developers' efforts to start construction. They noted that 50% of schemes from 2018 and 2019 had commenced, and it might be too soon to judge the intent of developers who received grants of permission more recently, some of which may be the subject of judicial review challenges.
The Committee did not hear from industry representatives on this occasion. In particular no evidence seems to have been given relative to the compliance steps taken by developers (required between the grant of permission and the commencement of works on site) which could demonstrate a greater initiation of these SHD permissions than is evidenced from commencement of construction.