I thank Deputy Ó Ríordáin. I am pleased to be given the opportunity to make an official statement to the House.
I have been clear in previous debates in my intention to review the provisions on shared accommodation or, as it is more widely known, "co-living", as set out in section 5.0 of Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments Guidelines for Planning Authorities, which were published in 2018. Paragraph 5.24 of the guidance committed the Department to monitor the provision of shared accommodation, with a view to issuing further technical updates of the sustainable urban housing guidelines document with regard to co-living, given the relatively new nature of this form of accommodation. The original guidelines provided for a two-year review. I stated in the Dáil and the convention centre that I would review co-living development. I asked my officials to do so and they completed a report, which I have carefully considered, having regard to the broader context of what I want the country to deliver, namely, sustainable, good, affordable housing, both public and private.
Further to the report, my preferred approach is to update the 2018 design standards for new apartments guidelines for planning authorities to restrict future commercial co-living development with a specific planning policy requirement, SPPR, for a presumption against grant of permissions for co-living shared accommodation. Yesterday, I issued a circular advising local authorities, An Bord Pleanála and the Office of the Planning Regulator of this and noting, in particular, the scale and location of co-living developments permitted and proposed to date, the need for a local authority-led evidence-based approach to guide any further provision, and the potential impact on land values. All of this is set out in the report I published yesterday, which is available to everyone. Effectively, in the guidelines I have set out on co-living, the presumption in respect of any new developments is refusal. It is a de facto ban.