The Sunday Independent reported yesterday that “councils have rezoned 33,000 hectares of land — enough to build a staggering 1,086,119 units.”   They don’t have a link to the source of the data, which is a shame.  I can’t find the data anywhere on the DEHLG website.  The most recent figures the DEHLG report are from June 2008, which IAN has discussed previously along with a basic model of how long that rezoning would last in each county if population continued to grow as it did between 1996-2006.   In June 2008 there were 14,191 hectares of land zoned for 462,709 potential new units.  The Independent’s article suggests that in the last two years there has been a bit of a rezoning frenzy in which the amount of land rezoned has more than doubled (the amount of rezoned land had been increasing throughout the 2000s, up from 10,775 in 2000 to 14,191 in 2008, then jumping dramatically to 33,000 in 2010).   Interestingly, the Independent reports that Meath is the county with the largest oversupply relative to projected demand (60 times in excess).  However, the June 2008 data suggests that Meath had the least oversupply, with only a few years worth of land zoned, so it would be interesting to get more detail as to what has happened there.  In general terms, it appears that councils have been trying to push through extensive rezoning ahead of the new Planning Bill that will significantly tighten rezoning and planning decisions, and also confers additional powers to the DEHLG to dezone land.  If anyone knows a bit more about what councils have been doing re. rezoning in the last couple of years it would be interesting to get some info.  Also, if anyone knows how to source the current rezoning data we’d be grateful for a link.

Rob Kitchin