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Martin added that the government had to "beef up" staff in an Bord Pleanála. Alamy Stock Photo

Micheál Martin: It's 'possible' Ireland can build 40,000 new homes a year to meet demand

The Tánaiste says Ireland’s construction industry ‘could go even higher’.

THE TÁNAISTE MICHEÁL Martin has said he thinks it’s “possible” that Ireland can build 40,000 homes per year.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Maura and Daithí, Martin told the hosts he thinks “the realistic figure right now” is for Ireland to see 40,000 new builds a year and that the industry has the capacity to do so.

“And if we can go higher, we should,” the Tánaiste added.#

Last January, the Housing Commission said that the country may need up to 62,000 new builds every year until 2050 to meet demand.

“I think we need to look at modern methods of construction, faster methods of construction, through timber frame and through other types of steel frames,” he said.

He added that the Government could use modular housing to create homes of “fine quality”.

Martin told the Talking Bollox podcast last month that 40,000 new homes are needed every year for at least seven years to catch up on population growth.

John Maxwell, the chief executive of leading housebuilder Lioncor, last month said it may take decades for the housing crisis to be resolved if planning issues were not fixed.

When asked on the back-log in planning applications, the Tánaiste said: “There’s a healthy volume of a applications in. But I think the planning system was not fit for purpose.”

He added that there’s been a “beefing up” and a reformation in staff in An Bord Pleanála, which he claims is as high as 50%, and the planning authority itself.

Martin said that the Government is asking the authority to accelerate the processing of applications, particularity around housing, offshore and renewable energy and said that the crisis needed to be fixed “without question”.

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