Thursday 29 September 2016

Calls for register of builders to get 'cowboys out of the industry'

Published 19/07/2016 | 18:19

Tom Parlon, director general of the Construction Industry Federation
Tom Parlon, director general of the Construction Industry Federation

THERE have been calls for a new register of builders in order to get “the cowboys out of the industry”.

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Director General of the Construction Industry of Ireland (CIF) Tom Parlon said on Tuesday there has been a lot of “ills within the industry in the past”, pointing to what he described as the “poor and shoddy work by some developers”.

Mr Parlon told the MacGill Summer School  that a new register of buildings is required in order to police standards in construction.

“It’s the way of getting the cowboys out of the industry,” he said. 

Mr Parlon said the industry has been “excluded” from the formation of housing policy in recent years because of the blame it received for the economic collapse.

Also addressing the debate on housing, Dr Lorcan Sirr of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) flagged the issue of housing obsolescence.

Dr Sirr said 6,400 houses become obsolete every year in Ireland, and that the problem is particularly serious in urban areas.

He said this can happen for a range of reasons, such as a family dispute or simply because people “just can’t be bothered” to look after their properties.

“This obsolescence is a serious issue around the country and it’s something we need to tackle,” Dr Sirr said.

The housing expert said that estimates that we need 20,000-30,000 houses per year are two low.

He said he believes the level of need could be as high as 50,000 per year.

“What we have failed to do over the years to account for all the houses falling out of use and falling out of stock,” Dr Sirr told the debate.

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