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53 former pubs create 169 housing units – Cummins

27th February 2023 - Senator John Cummins

Some 53 former pubs have been brought back into use to create 169 housing units across the country, a Fine Gael Senator has reported.


Senator John Cummins, party spokesperson on Housing, Local Government, and Heritage, advocated strongly for existing regulations to be amended to promote the re-use of vacant commercial buildings for housing supply and to renew urban and rural areas.


Senator Cummins said: “I am absolutely delighted that extensions to the planning exemptions for former pubs, passed last February, have resulted in 53 former pubs being brought back into use for residential purposes.


“This has ultimately resulted in the delivery of 169 much needed housing units.

“Vacant pubs are often in prominent locations, close to all services and amenities and can make excellent homes.

“In fact, many originally started off as residential units. The failure to include vacant pubs under the previous regulations often resulted in needless planning delays.

“I predicted that the new exemption had real potential to fast track the delivery of more houses across the country.”

Senator Cummins continued: “This is something I advocated strongly for, having seen the challenges and lost time experienced via the planning system for two projects I was involved with in Waterford City.

“It is clear this simple change has had a very positive outcome and I am delighted to have been able to bring this change through to implementation with the assistance of Ministers Peter Burke and Darragh O’Brien.

“Given that the exemptions only came into force in Q2 of last year, I believe we will only see the full benefits of the extended exemptions when the outturn figures for 2023 are published next year.


“However, it is clear that the trend is positive and the exemption is being utilised by the sector to deliver much needed homes for individuals and families.”


Senator Cummins concluded: “It is clear that the pace is picking up in converting former commercial premises into residential units. Many of these commercial premises have been vacant for many years and are now being repurposed for residential use.


“In total, 260 commercial properties have been converted into residential use, resulting in the delivery of 665 housing units.


“The momentum generated in 2021 has been maintained and the combination of the last two years now accounts for 65% of delivery since the exemptions were introduced in 2018,” Senator Cummins concluded.



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