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shoe box

Surveyors welcome plans to make Dublin apartments even smaller

Council planning proposals would see the minimum size reduced by almost 20%.

Updated 15.25

SURVEYORS HAVE WELCOMED proposed plans by Dublin City Council to reduce the minimum apartment size in the city.

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) has said that the increased flexibility would help alleviate the housing crisis.

A draft development plan for 2016 to 2022 which was sent to councillors proposes to reduce the minimum size for apartments by nearly 20% by introducing a so-called ‘studio’ apartment. It also indicates the council would allow up to 30% of apartments in a development to be single bed units.

The SCSI welcome these plans and has taken issue with the specific rules applied in Dublin that are not part of the national standards.

Speaking about the changes, president of the SCSI, Andrew Nugent, said, “If we had harmonisation of standards nationally it would mean that the costs of constructing an apartment development in the Dublin City Council area would reduce to the national standard and the viability and affordability of schemes would improve significantly.”

The proposal has already been slated as a sign the council is giving into pressure from the construction industry.

Commenting on the draft, independent councillor Cieran Perry said he believes we are “once again witnessing the vested interests of construction putting pressure on the city council to dilute building standards. These are the very people who are responsible for some of the planning disasters we have witnessed from the so-called Celtic Tiger period”.

Perry said this move could lead to more of the “shoe box apartment complexes” which line the city streets.

Have we learned absolutely nothing?

“The demand for housing is increasing daily. We need to provide decent housing now. We have plenty of sites lying idle yet developers choose not to build because they want to once again, maximise profits over proper planning standards,” he said.

Proposals would allow for taller apartment blocks and for some apartments to have windows on just one side.

Labour Party councillor Andrew Montague told Newstalk Breakfast that developments with these smaller apartments will have to have other facilities like an on-site gym or an area where people can have parties.

He said he believes the plan would ensure “really high standards of quality apartments” so when people move to the city or are looking for homes they will actually be able to get them.

The proposals will be debated by councillors in September.

First published 08.11am 

Additional reporting by Michael Sheils McNamee 

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