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*Photograph: Joe Buckley

A shortage of serviced sites in Shannon to construct private housing developments is leading to more younger people leaving the town, elected representatives have warned.

Addressing the March meeting of the Shannon Municipal District, senior executive officer, Jason Murphy outlined that the “housing situation” is under examination. As part of this, viewings of zoned lands are taking place.

Along with sourcing more housing options, the need to cater for step-down housing must also form part of the Council’s thinking, Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) stated. “We need to identify sites within in the town for serviced sites, young people are unable to build homes, it is something that needs to be addressed”.

There is “significant demand” for serviced sites in Shannon, Cllr Michael Begley (IND) detailed. He outlined, “There is significant demand for private sites in Shannon but they are not available”. This shortage was also voiced by Cllr PJ Ryan (IND). “I have been approached by constituents looking for serviced sites but they are not available”.

Projected population growths necessitate the need for a policy on the matter, Cathaoirleach of the Shannon MD, Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) believed. “We are in a huge growth area, the projections from Government on population of this county are going to grow, into the future we will have to have a policy of serviced sites for them to be bought into heavy serviced areas. We have to push a policy”.

Tenure and housing balance between public and private mix has been regularly brought to the table, Director of Service Liam Conneally acknowledged. “We are building communities and as such we should be having a good mix on all tenures of housing. We have a significant land bank in Shannon, we will be looking at more recent Government proposals on housing”.

He revealed that the local authority would be interested in releasing some of their land bank for housing. The Director of Economic Development highlighted that topographical surveys and other steps must be taken to avoid getting “caught up in planning”.

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