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Irish ministers announce measures to boost housing supply

Words: Roger Milne
Dalkey, Ireland

Irish ministers have announced a slew of measures to kick-start new housing construction and enhance supply, most of which will start at the beginning of 2016.

These include the introduction of a scheme offering targeted rebates on development contributions in Dublin and Cork for housing supplied under certain price levels.

Also promised are New National Apartment Planning Guidelines to be issued by environment minister Alan Kelly. These are expected to reduce the cost of building flats in Dublin by about €20,000 a unit.

The new guidelines will retain minimum internal apartment sizes but allow for some smaller studio-type apartments in certain managed developments, address the minimum number of units with dual aspect, the maximum number of units per lift, and revise car parking provision in city centre and public transport-served locations.

In addition there will be some changes to the operation of Strategic Development Zones to enable swifter adjustments to meet market requirements.

Kelly insisted that the changes would not affect building standards.

“We are proposing changes to technical aspects of planning guidelines. The size of one-bed apartments will remain quite large by European standards so descriptions of ‘shoe-box’ apartments are wide of the mark.”