Vacant shops could soon be turned into homes to help tackle the housing shortage in Tipperary, according to Fine Gael's Cllr Michael Murphy.
Proposals have been brought forward to Government for vacant commercial premises to be made into housing without the need for planning permission.
“These draft regulations, if approved by the Oireachtas, will allow the conversion of certain vacant commercial premises in Tipperary such as empty retail units and over the shop spaces to homes without the need for planning permission,” he said.
Cllr Murphy said that this will have the dual benefit of creating urgently needed housing supply in high demand areas, while at the same time breathing new life into our towns and urban areas - many of which had been adversely affected by the economic downturn.
“Fine Gael in Government is fully committed to bringing as many vacant properties as possible back into use and maximising the use of existing resources,” he said.
Cllr Murphy said that these were the first of a series of measures being developed to streamline the various regulatory requirements relating to the conversion of vacant spaces for residential use.
“We want to once again show how the planning system can be responsive to current needs and demands, by removing the need for planning consent where appropriate and thereby provide greater efficiencies in the system.
“All elements of the three sets of proposals have the potential to have a very real and positive impact on the people of Tipperary,” he said.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee will discuss the proposals in early 2018.
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