Monday 16 September 2019

Radical re-think of planning system means more high-rise developments on the horizon

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy Picture: Mark Condren
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy Picture: Mark Condren
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

High-rise developments will be allowed in more areas as councillors are to be stripped of powers setting upper limits.

In a radical re-think of our planning system, the Government will also remove the need to provide car parking spaces in any housing development located within 1km of a Dart, Luas, urban rail link or quality bus corridor. It will also effectively ban car parking spaces in city centre residential blocks.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy will today outline changes to the planning system to be rolled-out before Christmas which are aimed at combating urban sprawl and reducing the cost of building. He will also outline plans for a new "shared accommodation" model for younger workers.

The minister will tell the Irish Planning Institute conference that new measures are needed to increase supply and encourage build-to-rent.

The most contentious element of the plan will be a review of urban building heights by the end of the year. This will lift the cap on maximum heights to allow residential development to occur "where it makes sense".

Sources said an "arbitrary" cap of six storeys applied in Dublin, and that high-density development had failed to occur in areas such as the Docklands due to restrictive rules.

Planning regulations will be introduced setting out the context in which high-rise will be allowed.

But the minister can expect a backlash from councillors who set maximum heights as part of the development plan process, and who will state the case that their powers are being eroded.

"There's an arbitrary six-storey cap in Dublin City Council," one source said. "We're not saying you can put high-rise on Merrion Square, but it could be appropriate in the Docklands."

Other changes, which will take effect in the other main cities of Galway, Cork, Limerick and Waterford, include developers having to justify the need to provide car parking spaces.

There will also be a move towards allowing a new shared accommodation model in the build-to-rent sector.

An en-suite bedroom with kitchenette is typically provided, with tenants sharing kitchens, living spaces and laundry rooms.

Irish Independent

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