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Dublin Chamber Back End To Height Restrictions

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Business group Dublin Chamber has welcomed the news that height restrictions on new buildings are to be lifted in Dublin.

Reacting to comments made by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, the Chamber said that constructing taller buildings will help ease Dublin’s growing housing crisis and allow for the potential of key development sites in Dublin to be realised.

Height restrictions on city buildings will be removed in July to let developers build ‘upwards rather than outwards’.

Eoghan Murphy, the housing minister, has removed several planning requirements to intensify construction of more apartments in urban centres.

According to Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke: “A planning system which allows for the appropriate construction of higher and denser buildings is vital if Dublin is to be able to cope with the 280,000 additional people forecast to be living in Dublin by 2031.”

“The possibility of going higher also helps build the business case for investment in new and improved transport infrastructure, such as MetroLink, new Luas lines, the BusConnects project and world-class cycling infrastructure.”

Dublin Chamber said that building higher and increasing densities is essential if Dublin is to be equipped for the demands of 21st century living.

However, the Chamber cautioned that relaxing height restrictions will be pointless unless the planning authorities have the conviction required to green light ambitious high-rise projects.

Dublin Chamber said its research had found that constructing even one extra storey on a one hectare site would provide around 20 additional residential units.

Ms Burke said: “We must prepare for more people living and working in Dublin. Building upwards will allow for considerably greater densities, meaning we will be able to maximise the potential of the limited amount of space available in the areas of the city that people want to live. Increased heights and densities will also help alleviate Dublin’s growing congestion problems. Ensuring growth goes up instead of sprawling ever outwards will provide more space for people to live, make public transport a more viable option for commuters. International research and experience shows that greater densities provide a significantly greater return on investment in public transport, strengthening the case for increased investment.”

In Dublin, high-rise development is limited to four areas: the docklands, land near Connolly and Heuston railway stations, and George’s Quay. Buildings in these areas can be taller than 50 metres or about 12 storeys, but are assessed case by case by Dublin city council. In nine other areas, buildings of up to 50 metres may be considered.