CIF Cork Election Manifesto 2020

07 Feb 2020

It is estimated the construction sector in the Cork Region accounts for over 12% of the output of the industry and employs approximately 20,000 people. Construction is a major employer providing the necessary infrastructure for the economy and society.

Cork’s population and employment levels have increased significantly in recent years and now more than ever Public Infrastructural investment needs to keep pace with a growing employment and population base.

Cork is now the fastest growing urban area in Ireland. We need to invest in Cork.

It is obvious that we need to invest more in the construction of roads, cycleways, schools, hospitals, flood defences and many other types of public works.

It is vital that commencement dates and project timescales are given for the following:

  • N8/N25 Dunkettle
  • Events
  • A fast track M28 Ringaskiddy
  • Cork City Flood Defence
  • Docklands
  • Identification of new “ready to go” site locations for Life Sciences
  • M20 Cork to Limerick motorway, along the original
  • Northern Ring
  • A fast track light rail in Cork
  • Various Irish Water projects

Generally, align Infrastructural Investment with population/employment growth trends and projections. This alignment also must take place at semi-state level by Irish Water, IDA, etc and that there is balanced regional diversity at Board level in all semi-state agencies.

The M28 must be fast tracked. The current estimated date of 2027 for completion is unacceptable in the context of our trading routes to continental Europe following Brexit and the unlocking of vast tracts of City Centre lands at Tivoli for sustainable residential development.

Constructing the M20 would be the greatest signal that any Government could give that it is serious about creating a real economic engine that can act as a counterbalance to the over congested Dublin Region. This motorway must be in line with the original route selected as that route is the most sustainable route directly linking Cork City and Limerick City, Airports, Universities, Ports and employment districts.

The Public Spending Code published by the Dept. of Public Expenditure and Reform must be revised so that there are less steps in the approval process and time frames for decision making are identified. The code should recognise the need for greater investment in regional infrastructure projects and that projects in the regions are not put at risk due to very large proposals in the Dublin region.

Review all Public Works Contracts to ensure risk is allocated appropriately and costs are recoverable.

In Cork City there is a severe shortage of residential properties for sale or rent. This has driven prices for both rent and sales significantly upwards in the last 6 years. Due to the macro prudential rules and other measures house price inflation has stabilised. Despite significant and growing demand challenges remain right throughout the Region in relation to returning to a normal level of construction activity. It is estimated that there is an annual requirement for 3,500 residential units in Cork, however, approximately only 2,000 per annum are being produced.

There is significant demand for starter homes aimed at the first-time buyer and city centre units for the rental market. The cost of delivery is limiting the construction industry’s ability to improve supply for first time buyers and apartments for the rental market.

Most costs are fixed costs with limited ability to achieve reductions or savings. The construction industry will be able to deliver more affordable units in the price range of €240,000 to €320,000 in the Cork region if the variable costs such as taxes and charges are reduced. Other costs are largely fixed.

For the rental market, the industry cannot build in the numbers required until taxes and charges are reduced. We must make apartments viable for all locations in Ireland not just locations with high rental yields.

Allow us to deliver more housing:

  • Reduce the high cost of Government taxes, development contribution scheme charges, VAT, Part V Contributions and
  • Invest in Water and Wastewater infrastructure for Zoned lands by directly funding Local Authorities to service zoned
  • Expand low cost finance options for sustainable development initiatives through the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund or House Building Finance
  • A special regeneration fund for Cork City Council that is multi-annual, similar to Regeneration funding in other
  • Reduce the taxation burden on landlords so more investment can take place in units for rent thereby increasing
  • Expand LIHAF funding for zoned
  • Ensure there are no unnecessary restrictions in the availability of serviced and zoned lands by zoning and servicing enough land for development. Unnecessarily restricting the amount of lands zoned and serviced for residential purposes increase the cost of land and in turn the cost of providing housing.
  • Allow appropriate housing densities to ensure that residential units can be Lower housing densities should be provided for in certain locations having regard to the character of particular areas and to provide for increased house choice.
  • Alter Waste legislation so that Construction & Demolition material can be
  • Introduce a State-Backed Shared Equity Scheme (As outlined in detail in the CIF Irish Home Builders Association Manifesto).
  • Enact the Housing and Planning and Development Bill 2019 to stop frivolous objections.

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