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Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
Running the rules

Regulation controversy drives construction rates up

House building commencements are 192 per cent higher than last year.

THE RATE OF house building across the country has been driven sky-high by builders anxious to avoid stringent new regulations, a new report has shown.

Residential construction activity increased by 192 per cent across the country during the first two months of the year, new data in the National Housing Construction Index shows.

A spokesman for consultancy Link2Plans, which compiles the index, said controversial new building regulations that force contractors to get an outside expert to sign off on a project was one of the reasons behind the uptick.

The spokesman said that previously a builder themselves could sign off on a project, whereas from 1 March they had to bring in an architect or engineer to do the job.

The index shows an increase in activity for every county, with Cork posting the biggest gross increase with 272 extra applications.

The largest percentage increase was registered in Westmeath, wth 34 new application amounting to a 1033 per cent increase on last year.

It is based on all planning applications and commencements during January and February and gives a direct comparison with the same period in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Applications

The index also tracks planning applications as a measure of potential future activity.

Applications have increased by 21 per cent nationally, with the largest surge in Dublin, where 609 new applications have been lodged, a 57 per cent increase on last year.

Offaly saw the largest percentage increase, with 32 new applications translating to a 129 per cent increase.

Construction climbs 11.5 per cent in 2013>

Construction sector growth scales 2006 peaks>

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