Looking forward to 2010, I can see more planning applicants for undeveloped zoned land, as landowners try to ring fence zoning, particularly in anticipation of the revised Planning and Development Act/Regulations requiring justification of zoning of land and also NAMA.
During recent discussions, a planner advised that they felt there will be pressure put on to dezone lands not within control of NAMA, with a view to maintaining a higher value of the NAMA controlled lands. How that will work, will be quiet interesting,and I am not sure. I would image that there will be some lands that will end up under the control of NAMA, which are currently unzoned and to recoup some of its value, it will need to be zoned. I understand that there was significant amounts of unzoned land purchased around the country for substantial money by individual business men whom unfortunately now are insolvent.
While developers may be strapped for cash, it will be a case of them or their banks progressing things, and getting planning permission, otherwise they could be looking at, best case, a piece of very expensive farmland with a significant debt attached. Any site with a grant of permission for development on it, will be difficult to justify de-zoning of it, with possibly on exception, lands at high risk of flooding, but that's another days debate.
I also see more objections from local communities to developments or proposed developments on zoned lands, particularly were there is an oversupply of houses or unfinished developments, in fact the tread has already started.
I do expect that planning applications will become more complex for developments and won't be just a case of making an application with just architectural and engineering drawings and reports.
Developers and their agents will need to be innovative with their proposals. Low density serviced sites is one option, particularly in the more rural areas and appears to be acceptable to most planning authorities, in that it also allows a stick for the planning authority to further tighten restrictions on one off housing in the open countryside, as serviced sites become available for the self builder.