Full storyA fine Gael Senator has proposed that property developers responsible for unfinished housing estates be given lifetime bans from seeking planning permission. Seanad Community Spokesperson, Corks Senator Jerry Buttimer, welcomed the National Housing Development Survey Report in the Seanad this week saying it marks the first step on the long road of dealing with ghost estates and associated planning decisions, which have blighted the Irish landscape.
He also proposed a plan to deal with errant developers. He said: First things first, we must set about ensuring that those developers who are responsible for unfinished estate should never again be given planning permission and are never again allowed to re-register their old company. Its time to get tough.
At first glance, it doesn't seem the worst of ideas, but I'd question how easy it would be to implement. While it's easy to look at developers as people, they are often hiding behind companies. So how do you implement? If a person is a director of a company that left behind a ghost estate then any company of which they are a director in future may not apply for planning permission? But does that not leave loopholes in terms of registering things in their spouse's name? Change director to employee and there would be no development ever again in Ireland.