Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has said that he wants to blow housing targets “out of the water”.
“I know we need more” he told RTÉ radio’s News at One.
Mr O’Brien was responding to a report by the Housing Commission, details of which were published in The Irish Times, which suggests that the State may need up to 62,000 homes built per year until 2050 to meet demand.
The targets that have been set up to 2030 were baseline targets, he said. “We have to build to capacity.”
Today the Minister will present new planning legislation which will be the “biggest overhaul” of the planning system in 20 years, he said. The plan is to bring about “a major transformation” to provide a planning system for a modern Ireland.
One aspect of the legislation will be a change to the requirements for a judicial review, under the new legislation people will need to have “a strategic interest” to take such a review. In the past someone not connected to a project could hold it up, explained the Minister.
“We are looking at making the system more efficient.” The proposals were not about restricting action, it was about transparency. Planning objections had held up some important projects, he added.
There had been extensive consultation within the Government “all the way through this”.
Mr O’Brien said he was "ambitious to get this through as soon as possible. The system needs to be updated.”
The Minister said that An Bord Pleanála was planning to bring forward plans to tackle the backlog it is facing. It will assess what is outstanding and how it needs to be prioritised.
On Wednesday, the Taoiseach admitted that the State failed to meet its housing targets last year.
Leo Varadkar also noted that it has not been possible to find another year on record where more social homes were built than had been in 2022.
During Leaders’ Questions on Wednesday, Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy asked: “What is the point in your modest housing targets when you keep missing them?”
Mr Varadkar admitted the Government had missed its target to build 9,000 social homes in 2022.