I propose to take Questions Nos. 24 and 86 together.
Under Part V of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2006, each local authority is required to prepare a housing strategy identifying the full range of housing needs in the authority's area and is obliged to zone sufficient land to meet the needs identified. The housing strategy also provides the basis for determining the percentage, up to 20%, of land zoned for residential development or for a mix of residential and other uses that may be reserved for social and affordable housing purposes under Part V.
Part V establishes a firm legal basis through which a proportion of the benefit accruing from both the zoning and granting of planning permission can be captured to support the achievement of the desirable public policy objective of delivering social and affordable housing. It balances the objective of focusing delivery with the requirement that needs in this regard are clearly identified in the housing strategy and that delivery takes place in a plan-led manner through each local authority fulfilling its statutory obligation to zone sufficient land to meet the identified requirements.
The overall approach underpinning Part V has been considered by the Supreme Court and found to be Constitutional. I am satisfied that the balanced approach involved provides a robust basis for the effective operation of Part V, as evidenced by the increasing levels of delivery now being achieved. Accordingly, I have no proposals to amend the legislation to apply Part V to unzoned land.
In relation to the minimum size threshold for sites to which Part V applies, the initial threshold of 0.2 hectares was reduced to 0.1 hectares under the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2002. This change was made in order to take account of the potential for increased housing delivery on smaller sites arising from the implementation of policies in relation to increased residential densities. I am not aware of any significant loss of delivery under Part V due to a widespread incidence of housing developments of 5 or more units being achieved on sites of less than 0.1 hectares. Accordingly, I have no proposals to amend the legislation in this regard, but will keep its operation under review.