The Minister of Finance invited interested parties to make submissions regarding:
1) Views on the extent of undeveloped zoned and serviced lands;
2) Reasons for their non-development;
3) Possible corrective tax measures to encourage development.
The context to the Public Consultation is as follows:
A) The Minister of Finance in his 2015 Budget made reference to owners of zoned and serviced lands waiting for higher prices before taking steps to develop the lands. He also mentioned that previous property tax reliefs were allowed to continue too long and were not adequately measured to determine if their goal had been achieved.
B) The Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government is separately developing proposals to underpin development of priority areas in local authority and county development plans. They are examining the introduction of
a 3% annual levy based on the market value of any identified site where the owner fails to develop the site.
C) The Government's Construction 2020 Strategy published in May 2014 outlined a range of actions to incentivise increased housing construction activity and supply. These actions are being progressed as a matter of urgency and included:
- revision of the Part V social housing obligations on developers,
- retrospective application of reduced development contributions,
- introduction of the vacant site levy "use it or lose it" re planning permissions
D) A Dublin Housing Supply Co-Ordination Task Force was established in June 2014. It reported there are currently planning permissions with no insurmountable infrastructural deficits to deliver 20,000 housing units in four Dublin local authorities, while a further 25,000 new homes are considered permissible on existing lands zoned for residential use.
E) The Residential Land Availability Survey (RLAS) is being finalised with local authorities to produce datasets mapped to individual land parcels across all local authorities. This will include summaries of the lands zoned for housing and immediately available. The results of the RLAS are expected to be available shortly.
It is provisionally estimated there is in excess of 17,000 hectares of undeveloped residentially zoned land nationally, which equates to 400,000 new homes, which is sufficient capacity for the next 10 years, but for a lesser period in the Dublin area.
The full document is available on the Department of Finance website - The Potential of Taxation Measures to Encourage Development of Zoned and Serviced Lands.
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