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'Building up instead of out will prepare Dublin for 21st century city living'

Business groups are calling on councillors to scrap changes that would limit the height of some city centre buildings.

Image: Sean MacEntee/Flickr

BUSINESS GROUP IBEC and Dublin Chamber of Commerce have both called on Dublin city councillors to scrap a restriction on building heights in the capital.

Councillors will meet today and Monday to finalise the six-year Dublin City Development Plan, which could see a reduction on the maximum height allowed for residential property developments in the city and suburban areas.

Aebhric McGibney, director of public affairs at Dublin Chamber, warned that the limits would compromise Dublin’s ability to respond to the housing crisis and would  ”threaten Dublin’s future ability to attract investment, jobs and skilled workers”.

“Dublin is currently a low density city by international standards,” he said.

Given the limited amount of vacant land available in the city, we must ensure that any future building maximises its potential. Building higher will ensure that we make the most of what we have.

Dublin Chamber said that increased heights and densities will also help alleviate Dublin’s growing congestion problems.

McGibney added: “Ensuring growth goes up instead of sprawling ever outwards will provide more space for people to live, make public transport a more viable option for commuters and prepare Dublin for 21st century city living.”

Space shortages

Ibec’s senior executive Aidan Sweeney echoed this argument, calling the council’s draft development plan “inconsistent and incoherent”.

“At a time of acute housing and commercial space shortages, the new development plan should not look to limit much-needed supply,” he said. “Let’s not add to the high cost of housing and doing business in the city.”

He said that the council should not adopt a strategy that “only encourages urban sprawl across the greater Dublin region and much further afield”.

10389899965_c2e0b9c339_o Grafton Street, Dublin Source: Tobias Abel/Flickr

Under the draft proposal, the maximum height for inner city ‘low-rise’ residential developments would be reduced from 28m to 24m, while ‘low-rise’ residential lots in the suburbs would be reduced from 16m to 13m.

McGibney said that having a more flexible restriction on building heights “wouldn’t mean that Dublin will become a city dominated by skyscrapers or that the unique architectural character of Dublin will be lost.

Rather, it will allow for projects that will meet the needs of the future, add to the city’s built heritage and boost the local economy.

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According to Daft.ie’s most recent quarterly analysis of the rental market, rental prices went up by 3.9% during the second quarter of 2016, pushing the average rent to €1,037, the highest level on record.

Note: Journal Media Ltd has shareholders in common with Daft.ie publisher Distilled Media Group.

Written by Conor McMahon and posted on Fora.ie

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