CSO figures from 2023 show that a marked increase in planning permissions granted in 2023 hasn’t corresponded to an increased area of building constructed. This is despite the new TAMS III grant being opened in February of last year.

The data for 2022 shows that 911 agricultural developments were granted planning permission (new builds and extensions) which resulted in 618,000m² of agricultural developments receiving permission.

In 2023, this figure increased to 981 applications receiving approval, a 7.6% increase, but the overall developed area decreased to 583,000m², down 5.7%.

Looking at the planning permissions on an individual basis, this would leave the average 2022 development at 678m².

This is the equivalent of a six-bay (94ft 6in) long shed at 23.54m (77ft 3in) wide. For 2023, using the same shed length (six-bay) the development is approximately 3m narrower (20.6m) with a total footprint of 594m². This is 14% less than the 2022 figure.

Southern region

The majority of the applications granted in the fourth quarter were for new builds in the southern region. A total of 111 new build applications were granted in this region in Q4. In the northern and western regions, 66 applications were granted. The east and midlands had just 38 applications .

A total of 215 new build applications were granted across the country in Q4, with an additional 21 applications for both extensions and alterations granted in the same period, spread across the three divisions.

The southern region also dominated the overall annual figure and accounted for 506 applications granted for new construction – 59% of the total.

The new build applications granted figures for the northern/western and the eastern/midland regions were 189 and 153 applications respectively.

The increased volume of applications granted in agriculture has not followed through in one-off housing planning permissions for the same period.

One-off houses

One-off housing planning permissions in 2023 fell 27% from 2022 levels. CSO data shows that 5,032 one-off houses received planning – 1,892 dwellings fewer than in 2022.

Overall housing planning permissions increased in 2023, but one-off housing, traditionally associated with rural dwellings and farm houses, was the only area where a decline on 2022 levels was seen.

TAMS update

Tranche 3 of TAMS III has now closed for applications, with tranche 4 of the scheme open since Monday, 15 April.

Tranche 3 has been the shortest of the three tranches so far, having been open since 22 January of this year and closing on 12 April. In contrast, tranche 1 opened on a phased basis from February 2023 until 30 June, with tranche 2 running from 3 July, 2023 to 19 January 2024.

The volume of applications received in tranche 3 is yet unknown but it is expected to be greatly below that of tranches 1 and 2 which saw 8,203 and 9,110 applications respectively.

Concrete costs up 46% since 2020

It is unknown yet what effect the recent increase in concrete prices will have on building figures for 2024. Concrete prices are estimated to have increased by 46% over the last four years. Concrete suppliers have written to farmers and builders in recent weeks stating that increased costs will have to be passed on to customers.