Danger of ‘glut of apartments and another housing bust’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

TALLAGHT Community Council has said that a “glut of apartments and another housing bust” could be caused if there is no upper height limit on future residential developments in the country.

TCC made this statement as part of their submission during the public consultation process of the Draft Urban Development and Building Heights Guidelines for Planning Authorities, which contains plans to set out new and updated national planning policy on building heights in relation to urban areas.

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Tallaght has no height restriction guidelines

The community group took issue with a part of the draft guidelines that states that the guidelines “shall not provide for blanket numerical limitations on building height”.

They called on the Department of Housing, which published the draft guidelines, to consider employing a six-storey height limit on any future urban development in the country, and cited how height limits work in other cities like Rome and Washington DC, and also to look at increasing the size of future apartment units.

TCC said it “deeply regrets SDCC’s obsession with build one and two-bedroom and studio apartments and making no serious attempt, so far, to address the market for mixed development and larger apartment sizes”, adding that people in Tallaght are “limited” by the small size of their apartments.

Addressing the potential disparity between develop-ments of different heights, TCC stated that “no one should live in a bungalow or two-storey home and wake up beside an 11-storey apartment block, as has happened in Tallaght due to a lack of building height restrictions.”

The community council also made reference to potential fire safety issues if developments are built without limitations on building heights, and urged the department to “avoid a race to the bottom” by taking action to “significantly increase” the minimum size of apartments.

A spokesperson for SDCC told The Echo: “South Dublin County Council recognises that the shift towards more compact and sustainable forms of development over recent decades has resulted in increased building heights in the county.

“Varied building heights are supported across residential and mixed use areas in South Dublin County to promote compact urban form, sense of place, urban legibility and visual diversity.

“Having regard to the size of dwellings and internal residential accommodation, dwellings should be of sufficient size and sufficiently adaptable to enable people to live comfortably through different stages of their lives and changing household needs.

“Planning applications for residential and mixed use developments are assessed having regard to all relevant policies and objectives of the County Development Plan, and all other relevant national, regional and local guidance and policy documents.”

The window for making a submission on the draft guidelines closed on Monday, September 24, and these submissions will then be used to inform the finalisation of the Guidelines which will be published and issued by Minster Eoghan Murphy.

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