Wednesday 26 October 2016

Smaller apartments will help ease city housing shortage, says Dublin City Council

Owen Keegan
Owen Keegan
Owen Keegan

Dublin City Council aims to cope with growing housing demands in the city centre by reducing the minimum size requirements of apartments.

A smaller minimum area of 45 square metres will be allowed in private rental schemes and in converted upper floors of buildings.

This is a 20pc decrease compared with the current minimum.

Council planners propose to reduce the "dual-aspect" requirements that apartments have windows on two different walls from 85pc to 50pc.

The ban on "single-aspect units" facing north would be lifted, providing the unit overlooks a body of water or designated green space such as a park or garden.

The number of single-aspect units and studio apartments would increase from 20pc to 30pc.

Developers will also be allowed to increase the number of apartments in building complexes.

The government minimum of 45 square metres will apply to higher-space two and three-bedroom units. The proposed sizing regulations will not affect standard one bedroom units in the city centre.


The news has been welcomed by The Royal Society of Architects in Ireland and the Construction Industry Federation, who believe current regulations are limiting the design and construction of apartments.

Council chief Owen Keegan said the plan would allow the city administration to fulfil its commitment to provide 4,200 homes each year, totalling 29,500 by 2022.

Planning and Housing Minister Paudie Coffey confirmed yesterday that one-off homes and house extensions will be exempt from regulations introduced last year to prevent shoddy building work.

From September, these properties will not be subject to a formal sign-off from a building professional.

However, properties will be subject to inspection by local authorities.

The move to exempt one-off homes comes amid concerns that the cost of inspecting a property was too expensive, as complying with the regulations could cost up to €16,000.

"I am satisfied that these new arrangements will level the playing field for individuals and families planning to extend their home," said Mr Coffey.

"They will no longer be held to ransom by excessive quotes for design and completion."

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