Saturday 23 September 2017

Paul Melia: Government is ignoring mistakes of the recent past

There were fire safety issues at Priory Hall in Dublin
There were fire safety issues at Priory Hall in Dublin
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

To be clear, the decision by Government to relax the building regulations for one-off homes and extensions has nothing to do with protecting consumers from unscrupulous, over-charging building professionals.

It is all about protecting the rural base of under-pressure coalition TDs, many of whom are far from confident of retaining their seat in next year's General Election. One-off housing is a real issue in rural Ireland, where people prefer to live close to the homestead on larger sites than would be available in built-up areas.

The figures tell the story. Half of all homes built between January 2013 and June this year are one-off. In 13 of 31 local authority areas, 70pc or more of the total units constructed are single dwellings, rising to 80pc in Kilkenny.

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