‘Excessive’ land zoning criticised

Some development land may have to be “˜dezoned’ in order to return to realistic planning and development and to restore a sustainable market, the chairman of An Bord Pleanála has said. John O’Connor said “excessive and unsustainable zoning of land” had been a contributor to the property bubble and its aftermath. He said bad planning had long-term environmental, economic and social costs. There could be “no expectation” that proper planning standards would not be applied to development proposals, even where the land was linked to “distressed loans”, he added. He was speaking as the board’s annual report for 2008 was published today.

Mr O’Connor said it would be “extremely short-sighted” if there was any tendency to relax good planning standards in response to our current economic difficulties. “Now, more than ever, we need to embrace the principles of good planning and sustainable development in order to prevent further deterioration of our environment, to respond to climate change, to maximise the return from expensive infrastructure investment, to get the most efficient use of limited land resources and to help restore confidence by producing well located good quality developments,” he said.

The Irish Times