Planning permission may not be secured for another four years on State lands earmarked for housing, the Cabinet heard today.

Several sources who attended the meeting said there was much frustration expressed about the pace at which publicly owned sites are being transferred to the Land Development Agency (LDA).

The discussion was described as the centre piece of today's Government meeting in Dublin Castle.

Some ministers are understood to be perplexed at the lengthy delays given that the State already owns the lands.

The Government’s Housing for All strategy identified 20 sites, including places such as old army barracks and disused schools, which should be transferred to the agency for new housing developments.

Departments have now been asked to find potential new sites within the State’s property portfolio that would be suitable for housing.

This would then be delivered by either the LDA or local authorities.

Last week the Government gave the green light to the LDA to proceed with a plan for 597 homes at Shanganagh in Dublin.

This was the first project backed by the Agency.

It will include 306 cost rental homes, 200 social and 91 affordable homes.

Construction is set to begin this autumn.