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'Spa-like showers' for Dublin Airport in €1.7bn upgrade: 5 things to know in property this week

Plus excess heat from Amazon’s data centre will be used to warm Tallaght homes.

EACH AND EVERY week, we put together a round-up of the week’s biggest property news stories around Ireland.

Stay on the real estate pulse with our five-minute digest, featuring the vital news from the week just gone.

This week, there’s plans for a major upgrade at Terminal One…

1. Dublin Airport reveals plans for €1.7bn upgrade

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Dublin Airport has revealed its proposal to move Terminal 1′s security, add new fast-track services and beef up its food and retail offering as part of a billion-euro plan to prepare for 10 million extra passengers from 2020.

Other proposed changes include installing a “barista bar” at the end of the airport’s fast-track security services, “spa-like showers” at executive lounges in Terminal 1 and a “rapid exit” at Terminal 1 to allow passengers with carry-on luggage only to avoid having to walk through the baggage hall.

2. Wet wipes cause major mess for sewer network 

rag2-310x415 Irish Water Irish Water

Wet wipes and other sanitary products are causing more than 500 sewage blockages every month. In the first nine months of this year alone, Irish Water estimates that it removed almost 4,700 blockages caused by such items from the sewer network.

It cost over €7 million to remove these products, commonly known as ragging, from the sewer network in 2017.  Last month, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly for tougher restrictions on single-use plastics, including wet wipes. 

3. Government to oppose Bill for more social housing in private estates

shutterstock_84968503 Shutterstock / 1000 Words Shutterstock / 1000 Words / 1000 Words

The Government is set to oppose a Bill that would increase the percentage of social and affordable housing in private residential developments and in strategic development zones. The Sinn Féin Bill seeks an increase in the provision of social and affordable housing to 25% in private residential developments and to 30% in strategic development zones.

The government will oppose the Bill, as it holds the view that it is “very likely that any increase in the social housing requirement imposed on developers could have an unintended impact on house prices”.

4. Landlord sanctions are last sticking point for renter protection law

shutterstock_634811522 Shutterstock / Grand Warszawski Shutterstock / Grand Warszawski / Grand Warszawski

The degree to which landlords can be reprimanded under proposed new rules is still being discussed at government level. In April, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy announced proposed new measures that would form part of the new Residential Tenancies Bill, including making it an offence for landlords with properties in RPZs to raise the rent above the legally allowed 4%.

At the time, the minister said a new sanctions regime would make it a criminal offence to breach the rules. He suggested that a number of measures would be rolled out and implemented by the RTB (Residential Tenancies Board), including fines. However,  according to a source close to the housing minister, the detail to be agreed before the new Bill is brought to Cabinet either this week or next is around the level of powers the RTB will have in terms of sanctioning landlords. 

5. Heat from Amazon centre will be used to warm Tallaght homes

shutterstock_1083512990 Shutterstock / Sundry Photography Shutterstock / Sundry Photography / Sundry Photography

South Dublin City Council will use excess heat from Amazon’s new data centre in Tallaght to warm nearby homes and businesses in Ireland’s first public system based around one of the power-hungry facilities. The local authority recently called for expressions of interest in a multimillion-euro contract to design, build and operate the ‘South Dublin District Heating System’.

A district heating system captures waste heat that is then redistributed to homes and premises around an area for functions such as central or water heating. Using “low-grade waste heat” from Amazon’s site at the old Jacob’s biscuit factory on Belgard Road, the heating will be supplied through an energy centre designed and installed by the cloud computing giant as part of its planning approval for the data centre. 

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