Warning of another housing bubble in County Kildare

Kildare County Council offices at Aras Chill Dara
Kildare could be facing another housing crisis, a special meeting of Kildare County Council (KCC) has been told.

Kildare could be facing another housing crisis, a special meeting of Kildare County Council (KCC) has been told.

Cllr. Suzanne Doyle, speaking last Monday during a two year progress report on the KCC County Development plan 2011 – 2017 said that restrictive planning guidelines could lead to another “bubble”.

“If we do not have a reasonable response to demand for housing we will have another bubble,” she said.

Cllr. Frank O’Rourke agreed saying that there is a problem in Celbridge and in Leixlip and Maynooth with very high demand for housing.

He said there are no unfinished housing estates in Celbridge, as there are in other parts of the country.

However, John Lahart, Director of Serives said that there is planning permission for over 9,000 houses in the county. In addition there are other lands zoned for housing.

Cllr. Doyle, who is chairperson of the council’s housing Special Policy Committee said that census figures could justify a change in the current county development plan.

She said that the likelihood of private capital investment in the housing market is very poor.

“We will have to encourage people to work with each other in co-operatives, and to use other methods to provide housing.”

She said that “many of the houses which are provided via the rental accommodation scheme and leasing are unsuitable.

“There is pressure on the rented market because we are near to Dublin. She said the “Council’s hands are tied because of regulations coming from the Department of the Environment”.

County Manager Michael Malone said he did not necessarily disagree with what Cllr. Doyle was saying, but the County Development plan was not the way to make changes. “A lot of this will come down to access to finance,” he said.