August 29, 2016

For Dublin, the only way is up

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 68 comments ·

Every Saturday throughout the early 1960s, a dull drone could be heard over the Colorado plains. The light aircraft flew low, at around 2,000 feet. Inside, the pilot plotted future roads, suburban housing schemes and new business parks.


Ray Kroc was looking for cheap land and was planning a revolution for suburban America even before the suburbs existed. Kroc, the mastermind behind McDonald’s, soon graduated to helicopters and by the 1980s, the company was one of the largest purchasers of commercial satellite photography, using it to predict suburban sprawl from outer space.


The story of the spread of American suburbs makes instructive reading, particularly in light of Ireland’s approach to housing. By refusing to ‘build up’ in our cities and urban areas, we have to ‘build out’ in order to house people.


If this process continues (when we eventually start building again), vast estates will not be serviced by a local town or village, but by clusters of shopping malls, all-night Spars and fast food joints which will be located on proposed motorway intersections.


In the same way as Ray Kroc surveyed the Colorado plains from the sky, Tesco Ireland employs five full-time planners whose job is to buy up sites in new suburbs that are about to be re-zoned so that the Tesco footprint will lead rather than follow development.


Our development model is pure West Coast America. Ireland is more Denver than Denmark.


Apart from the obvious implication for traffic, the suburbanisation of Ireland is likely to presage a fast food revolution. In the US in the 1960s, McDonald’s realised that, as the amount of time spent in the car rose, people would eventually choose to eat as they crawled through the daily commute.


The answer to the hungry commuter problem was simple: on the spot, disposable meals without any need for cutlery. Suburban sprawl, traffic and fast food got it together. Today, an estimated 17 per cent of all American food is eaten at the dashboard. This figure is likely to be replicated in Ireland in the not too distant future.


This will lead to a serious weight problem. According to the national taskforce on obesity, 27 per cent of 11-year-old Irish boys and 29 per cent of 11-year-old Irish girls are overweight and Irish girls aged from five to eight are ballooning much quicker than boys. One in three is overweight. We go from toddlers to waddlers in a shockingly short period. And 11 per cent of Irish seven-year-old girls are obese.


That’s the physical cost, but what about the financial cost of sprawl?


Obviously, the more spread out your population, the higher your public transport costs and the less efficient public transport becomes. In addition, there’s a psychological cost. Suburbanisation leads to more atomised societies where people drive everywhere, mix far less and grow more remote.


In housing, scale is everything, not only because building high density brings down costs, but because it increases the efficiency of all the related public services from schools, to healthcare, creches and transport.


This is why Simon Coveney’s support for higher density, high rise developments in urban areas is welcome and essential. Ireland needs to build more houses, in the right places and at the right prices. This will involve ‘building up’ in Dublin. The most obvious location is the docklands. We need a zone for 40-storey, top-of-the-range apartments where people would like to live. Most societies build new cities every generation or two, why not us?


In order to achieve a comprehensive solution to the housing crisis, the city council needs to change height regulations immediately in, say, three specific locations. The reason for three is to act as an incentive for the next phase of the solution. It’s no good just to change regulations, the state has to force execution.


To proceed to the execution phase, there needs to be a massive change to planning laws where developers or owners who are sitting on zoned land need to be given a ‘use it or lose it’ option. This option should be targeted at urban brown field sites. If owners don’t build up on urban land by a certain date, they should lose the planning permission and the land should revert to industrial use.


In fairness to Dublin City Council, it does aim to make the city more liveable. This explains the recent initiatives of making Dublin more cycling and pedestrian-friendly. But it doesn’t matter how many cycling lanes and pedestrian zones you have. Unless you have somewhere for people to live, then by definition the city can’t be liveable. All the high and mighty sentiments are just rhetoric unless we build accommodation, and lots of it.


Dublin is full of vacant plots, and there are loads of people who want to live in the city, so why are these plots not being built on right now? Why don’t we have a sea of cranes building apartments in the city?


One of the reasons is the unintended consequence of the council trying to do the right thing. After much criticism of “jerry-built” apartments during the boom and horror stories of cowboy builders, the council has designed minimum standards for apartments.


One of these is a ban on north-facing and east-facing units. I am not too sure that many people care if their flat is east-facing; sure, it would be nicer to be west or south-facing, but let people choose. It’s not as if Dublin is blessed with consistent tropical weather which makes those long, lazy, sunny, south-west-facing evenings so essential.


The main problem for supply of this east and north-facing apartment ban is that it renders half the site worthless to a developer. So the developer will only buy the site if it comes down in price. This is one clear impediment to development, and it is a classic example of too little regulation being followed by too much; as if it will in some way compensate for the sins of the past.


Take another new regulation about the minimum size of an apartment. Again, as a result of tiny apartments built in the boom, the council has deemed that the minimum size of a two-bed apartment in Dublin must now be 90 square metres. So the idea was to protect the consumer. But what has happened? Because only half the derelict sites in Dublin can be used due to the north and east-facing ban, this rule has pushed up the cost of building.


The solution is much less regulation, combined with a stipulation to go up. If we don’t do this, we will have a perennial housing crisis in the city.

  1. AlfieMoone

    ‘Ireland is more Denver than Denmark.’ DMcW

    And that’s a specific political choice to manage the matrix of the Irish cultural algorithm to mimic,ape,flatter the doomed nonsense that Kunstler so eloquently and humorously debunks.

    Both the island of Ireland and Britain are controlled by the same Norman Toraigh gombeen robbers on horseback but they wear suits now and their praetorian guard are their bankster phalanx. Together they connive, contrive to create artificial scarcity in urban land banks, thus ratcheting up the price of land ‘beyond the Pale’ where another generation is doomed to be trapped in a vicious cycle of mortgage/car-loan/creche fees whilst enduring commuter hell on wheels and forced to eat fast-food crap from the franchises which the same devious alliance of landowners and bankers have set up to bilk Joe/Josie Public.

    And where are the Soldiers of Destiny in this scenario? Whether they call themselves FF/FG/SF, where are their plans to create a real republic, not a ridiculous potatoe republic banjaxed by 100 years of total nonsense. 1916? My arse….

    Gene Kerrigan is in a bad mood again so I’m sure he’s being led off by the men in white coats this morning for a deeper lobotomy. Along with DMcW’s polite critiques, he’s one of the rare chatterati class scribes who looks at the reality without green-tinged glasses. He seems to get it. It’s actually a shock to see mainstream writers allowed to say “It’s a total crock” as so much of the Irish media is just fluffing banks and landowners as they try to lace the punch-bowl again for another even boomier boom.

    Regulation needs to be appropriate, flexible and pragmatic, not a passport for empire building ‘civil serpents’ to ensure they keep the job/pension gravy train going at the expense of those they ensnare. If St Patrick were here today, he’d be a politician and he’d drive the ‘civil serpents’ off the Cliffs of Moher along with all the political and media class with a few honourable exceptions. Either Ireland presses ‘reset’ on all this or it’s finished if it repeats or rhymes the past.

    I’m in Kolding in southern Jutland. They don’t take any nonsense here. And the infrastructure puts both islands of Britain and Ireland to shame. You can have a career, family and fun here. Different cultural algorithm from different political choices. Furious debates from a genuine span of political parties who set up stalls her on Friday during the Kulture night piss-up. Danes know how to party hard but they know when to stop, no Hogarthian chaos on the streets at midnight, no young girls in bikinis at the taxi-rank inebriated beyond any possibility of keeping on top of anything rapey lurking in the shadows. And then it’s TGIM, they love Monday morning, back to the fun of working their balls off to keep their show on the road. I’m sure the shadow of Janteloven can be a pain but….at least they have options and most seem very happy with their ‘designer nanny state’ thank you very much. Best f all, they love the English and the reaction to Brexit here is, to put it mildly…..interesting…..

    And the buses, trains, and bike lanes just flow. Off to Billund now to meet someone. It’s all new build over the last few decades and Lego is the epicentre but you can just feel the wealth here. Real wealth that comes from investing in the entire tribe not throwing the losers to the wayside to enshrine the US winner takes all pathology. Same latitude as Norn Iron, Northumbria, Scotland but unlike those stricken islands, this isn’t Texas In The Rain because: Danes do it their way. DANexit is a given once Grexit kicks off. Probably why so many nutjobs want Denmark in the Euro so they can banjaxed by the EU but let’s not get into the Dansk Folk Party/UKIP stuff here…..LOL!

    If Dublin has a perennial housing crisis it’s because it’s profitable for the elite. Exactly as is the case in London. Same shower of bastards running the show. Noonan & Enda could always ask Apple to chip in some tax and build a few cool apartment blocks for social renting instead of dropping to their knees and drooling…

    ‘Gene Kerrigan: We don’t take taxes from cool people
    Apparently, things are so good today we can afford to turn away billions owed in taxes’

    • StephenKenny

      Absolutely, the real problem lays not so much the height as in the fundamental reasons for buying one. The US, Ireland, UK see property simply in terms of rent extraction and asset value inflation.
      The focus becomes not on increasing social utility so as to increase overall social and economic wealth – as everyone from the all major religious texts, through Adam Smith and Henry Ford, have been so incredibly clear about – but about having rent extraction and asset price inflation as the two central (only) goals of government policy.
      Until the government policies (tax, zoning, etc) change, too much commercial and business effort will be expended on these zero sum activities, and the subsequent increasing cost of living limits a huge proportion from consuming potentially more growth enhancing activities.

      • pat greene

        One tax control could be copied from Germany… with different corporation tax rates that incentives companies to move or set up in smaller towns relieving the burden that exists in cities, but that might be the proper thing to do.

        • Sideshow Bob

          That is a good idea but I think the government already did that with Apple, didn´t they? From low to nothing…

    • pat greene

      Excellent rant, you sum it up perfectly…I believe that Irish government policy is controlled by whome ever can afford it…the change in planing laws are a reaction and reactions are what drives the political class when it should be proactive and always in favour of the people, the nation. They creat an over reaction and they will get back what they want. Problem, reaction, solution! Question is, how do we change the existing system?

  2. Antaine

    Subscribe :-)

  3. Sideshow Bob

    Hi David,

    I am very glad once again that you are turning your attention, energy and creativity to deal with this multi-faceted complicated issue. You are an important voice in the media, I think you are an actual `influencer´ as opposed to some that call themselves `influncers´ and this issue that you are writing on is a significant one in need of broad civic education and debate. Our urban environments are complex systems. It effects all of us, both collectively and individually, and these effects on different aspects of our lives can range from very simple nuisance to extreme stress depending of the level and nature exposure of the individual to the aforementioned effects. We in our individual and collective actions also effect it. Any significant solutions to improve that environment have to be arrived at together, and include all effected parties to have any hope of having the positive and balanced outcome I think that we all want.

    That said some of this article downright inaccurate, and some of the thinking is flawed. Some of the solutions are repeated ideas, and are not strictly balanced or good ones and are clearly not understood. Some of what you are passing as fact here is opinion from a clearly biased party who has your ear.

    I say this as a person who´s education and professional experience is within this area and as someone who as part of that experience has lived ( not holidayed) in apartments in four countries on three different continents. In recent years have seen and lived beside favelas in South America and ghost cities in China. I think nearly everybody else in the world build their regular apartments ( and by that I mean the overall development of apartments blocks and associated grounds, facilities, shops etc ) better than us. For me they know what cities are and how best to live in them, and I think fundamentally we don´t. I can back this up with my actual observed experience as seen through professional eyes.

    I would like to comment more now and deal expensively with points in your stimulating article but I can´t just at the moment I have other fish to fry today. I hope to though, perhaps this evening and over the course of tomorrow. I have many things to add. Until later!

    • Bamboo

      @Sideshow Bob
      Looking forward to your thoughts Bob. Like you, I’ve lived and worked in many continents and cultures and am fully integrated into each culture.

      The ban on north-facing and east-facing units is a welcome change.
      It doesn’t “render half the site worthless to a developer” as suggested by David. With creativity this can easily be overcome.

      Building our way up in the dockland as you suggested David is the most disastrous plan we can think of. Are you thinking of a “mini” Singapore or London style development? It will probably end up in overpriced condo systems anyway that only high earners or lucky family money can afford. Maybe talking to friend property agents can give you a frank and true picture of how things are rather than reading “spruikers” talk.

      Building up will end up in tears as Ireland simply doesn’t have the public transport system and most likely it will never ever come unless a new city (township) on the North-side of the city is erected from scratch. Greater Dublin is too congested and too poor of an infrastructure as it is. The city seems to stop existing north of the M50 so there should be plenty of scope there.

      We also need to add some parameters to city developments.
      - Will commuting in and out of work still be such an issue in the future with development of online service and production systems?
      - Will cities require so much extra accommodation at all?

      • pat greene

        I agree, and I to am also looking forward to your views. The combinations and permutations resulting from each move required to rectify this mess is mind blowing…you can’t do this because that will have a negative result over there….I for one wouldn’t know where to start..

      • Sideshow Bob

        Bamboo and Pat Greene,

        Sorry about the delay I am trying to add comments at the moment as I can.

        There are a lot of errors in the article, and assumptions and ideas based them, I think now having reread it several times it is very misleading at times and very disappointing on the whole, so my viewpoint has changed. It is almost too far from being accurate to be useful. I am busy at the moment and the comments in reply are time consuming to write. I will try to voice the rest of my main ideas today, though it might take some time.

        I won´t be wading into this again though afterwards.

  4. michaelcoughlan


    We need to get rid of the 20% rule. A family member on my wife’s side lives in Dublin south side. Him and the missus are in 2 very good jobs. Bought a duplex last year and just had the first baby a beautiful girl. Creche fees for baby when required; an eye watering 1200 euro per month!

    Good jobs or not will they be able to save the 20% deposit for the next place if the family grows and pay the creche fees and mortgage simultaneously?



    • rbljck

      20% rule was changed to 10% rule earlier this year

      • michaelcoughlan

        Thank God. I didn’t know. Many thanks for pointing out my error.


        • StephenKenny

          So would 0% be better do you think? Certainly make things more affordable.

          • michaelcoughlan


            What will make things more affordable is increase in supply.

            There still needs to be a requirement of 10% to put up a deposit to favor prudent savers and build in a safety buffer to insulate against “normal” up an downs in the market.

            I am not sure if there is still a developers levy but that should go as it is simply a money grab by coco’s and the house buyer has to pay.

            The councils could purchase some of these idle sites and develop serviced sites for sale to developers/house buyers and earn their contribution by adding value perhaps.

            Another way to go would be a rent to own system whereby a person signs up for a 3 year lease or so and a portion of the rent goes as a capital investment for purchase in 3 years time. It would save the double whammy of trying to save and pay rent at the same time.


          • StephenKenny

            The problem with more supply is that it will lower prices. Property prices are one of the two pillars of modern macro economic thinking.

            It would be almost inconceivable that the government would introduce any policy that even threatened to slow house prices rises, let alone risk a fall.

            Rising real estate and stock market prices are the declared goal of western central banks. So there are only two solutions: return to the days of $0 down 110% mortgages; or enable more people to live in the same space. See ‘Twodios’ as an example – or a two bed flats becoming a ‘two couple’ flats.

            The former enables prices to keep on rising, and the later is more effective as it enables rents to grow along wth the prices.

            Of course, we have now entered with world of Orwell’s doublespeak, but that’s been appearing more and more for a couple of decades.

          • michaelcoughlan

            Hi Stephen,

            I am not so cynical just yet.

            thanks and regards,


          • Sideshow Bob

            M Coughlan mantra:

            “The way to bring down price is to increase supply.´´

            I am not sure where you were living between 1990-2006 but I don´t think it was in Ireland.

            Housing completions in Ireland in the early nineties sat at about 20k per year until 1994 when they started to take off with first a 25% jump in production and then with a solid 11 annual increase ranging from 6-19% but averaging a little over 12%. They only started to dip in 2007 with a 16% drop but that year housing completions stood at almost 80k units.

            Throughout the 12 years the average ( median ) new build house price increase was about 12.5% and there was no decrease at any point. 700k units were built a 50% addition to the existing housing stock and at no point did this result in ANY decrease in new house prices. The opposite in fact occurred – prices soared.

            Interestingly for the period after 2007-2012 you can track the huge fall in output, 33% year on year on average to the just 8-10k units being produced per annum with smaller price fall for new housing of 5.5% year on year meaning what builders remain in the market know how to make a profit on new build construction and costs had largely stabilized by 2012.

            The last prices for new houses that I could find placed the cost on a par with mid 2004.

  5. cyberjohn

    What other actions might help. Create a new tech hub in Athlone. We have lots of land. Dublin has reached its max now so create new hubs elsewhere in this country. All new public service jobs to be created outside Dublin would be another policy change that would help.

    • pat greene

      …bring the people to the water not the water to the people …remember Dublin is facing a shortage of water..

    • Ah Jaysus

      But very few of the people who work in those sectors will want to live anywhere near Athlone or anywhere else outside of Dublin for that matter.

  6. rbljck

    Less regulation is the answer? really David? I don’t subscribe
    Zones of +40 storey apartments really? …a more liveable city for who exactly? children, the elderly, people with mobility issues?
    What is the market demand for apartment city living anyway? 10%, 20% or 30% of share?
    DCC in advocating an upward only policy and quibbling over whether 7 or 8 storeys(24 metres)is an appropriate level of development is only interested in maximising a long term economic return from say the local property tax. In order to sell this sustainable urban lifestyle to the masses, DCC increased qualitative and quantitative standards of apartments. Sadly the lobbyists of CIF and Co bent the ear of our genius Ministers and undermined that initiative.
    Lowering design standards of accommodation within complexes of increasing higher apartment buildings will only undermine the benefits of city living and generate increasing demand for the car dependent suburbia utopia… back to the future

    • Bamboo

      Wow, well said. Agree fully.

    • pat greene

      I agree with all you say..and our constitution reflects this…what has gone wrong and how can we as a nation change the present system? Who is this government and successive governments serving? for It is not serving us!

      • Truthist

        The Civil Servants are the Masters in disguise ;
        Many who have become Executive Officers are set on becoming millionaires.

        The focus of the non-civil servants should be more on the Civil Service than on the transient electable politicians.

  7. Deco

    David – Thank you !

    Landmark article.

    At long last a common sense proposal to Ireland’s
    - residential housing problem
    - carbon footprint problem
    - time wasted commuting problem
    - facilitate mass transit, on an economic scale.
    - planned parkland
    - get around the problem of hedge funds owning the development land on the outskirts of the city.

    And integrated plan, with rail based transit, high scale developments, and parkland beside are the answer. Another Tallaght is not the answer.

    • Truthist

      Deco, u have been the pioneer for many a year on this blog for our cities — especially Dublin — to go “high-rise” with residential accommodation.

      Finally, our host adopts ur argument.

  8. pat greene

    The people of Ireland, AKA the nation, have abdicated all responsibility for the implementation of our constitution to politicians, civil and public servants, AKA the state. The power of the people given to the state is supposed to be governed by the constitution, OUR constitution. How is it or why is it that a few years ago to every house in the country was delivered a booklet listing the rules of the road, but very few households have a copy of our constitution let alone a copy of “the popular version” of our constitution? What you might ask has this got to do with property prices.

    Control of resources, housing is a resource they are for the most part in private hands but they are collectively a pooled resource where a percentage is available for purchase at any one time. We as a nation need to house our people, by state intervention if nessary, in homes to a standard that reflects our collective value on the family and also If we as a nation need to attract people from other nations we need to have the resources, homes in this case, to attract them. The control of services surrounding the procurement and utilisation of this important resource is totally in the hands of the state. There in lies the rub. “Our” state is the most centrally controlled state according to the OECD, power is concentrated in “our” executive a hand ful of ministers, ( the word minister means servant) to a level that is unhealthy for any nation, the old saying..power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely…rings very true in the Irish context. In state controlled Planning we see corruption, in the courts I have been told of sever corruption first hand, political (read state) interference in criminal investigations. The Galway tent, political party donations…NONE of this is in the control or influence of the people, the nation due to the removal of article 48 of the 1922 constitution. This article gave the people direct influence over government policy, direct influence over the policy of a hand full of people who are in-turn controlled by two ministries namely the dept of An Taoiseach ltd. and the dept of finance ltd. with the aide of the party whip.

    To change the existing paradigm we need to introduce a more up to date version of article 48 with a good mix of representative democracy and direct democracy, the Swiss have a god version of this it would be a good place to start.

    No matter what we do to improve the situation regarding housing if we do not change the game controlling this resource we will repeat the same mistakes. It vis only when the members of government feel the breath of the people breathing down their collective necks will they work for us, confronting them ounce every 4 to 5 years at our doorsteps is not doing the job.

    • survivalist

      I agree wholeheartedly with Mr Greene, the only hope, is for the fullest realisation of democratic participation in the running of the state.

      Consider that despite whatever type of political divide people align themselves on, it is nonetheless true, that among the ordinary people the fact that our economy and its managers cannot put homeless families together with unoccupied houses is regarded as obscene, wrong and results in a justified suspicion about the nature of the system.

      In 2011 there were 289,451 unoccupied houses. In 2016 it is 260,000. Is it a crisis that we have too many unoccupied houses or is it a crisis that we have too few unoccupied houses? And who is having what type of crisis?

      There are problems with the’ supply and demand’ economic story of the Irish housing market; the biggest problem is that the fact that that housing market exists and is organized to generate profit is deliberately obscured from public awareness.

      The housing market is not managed to deliver on citizens’ demands or needs because the people have had zero input into the policies that govern the market.

      And until the market is democratized it will always deliver crisis to us and profit to them.

      The homeless numbers are the highest ever, and the State is still promising to consider the arithmetic which has been suggested to them, that two plus two could, with enough effort, equal four.

      Government caution is exercised in trusting that assessment however and whereas once the delivery date on the insane idea of combining homeless people with unoccupied houses was touted as 2011/12 via NAMA, now it’s promised for 2021.

      Then, we are assured, the Corporate-State alliance will “build 45,000 new social houses” for the “at least 100,000 people” who are on the social housing waiting list.

      What we need is a housing market of the people, by the people and for the people.

      Until then it will be organised and enforced by devices like NAMA and RTE to deliver profit to domestic and foreign leeches as opposed to delivering a home, a family, a community and so on.

      Democratise the enterprise, until then expect no relief.

  9. mishco

    Two problems: First, who will design an integrated plan for housing development, and second, who will manage its successful implementation?

    We have shown over the last 100 years that we are incapable of solving these problems on our own.

    There must be some European countries who have tackled these problems
    successfully – at least at city level, if not nationally. Invite one of our EU brethren in to “assist” (ie do the job).

    As for implementation, if we can persuade so many American high-tech
    companies to set up here, can we not do the same for Hyundai Construction, who are the one of the world’s best in building high-rise apartment complexes worldwide? I don’t see Ballymuns here in Korea. This is partly due to a difference in cultural attitude towards high-rise living, perhaps, but can we not change our own attitudes, once we see the plan and its successful implementaion?

    Where do we fit into the plan? We provide the work-force, of course, under our Korean managers, gradually learning enough to replace them slowly. We collect our (admittedly low) tax from Hyundai and its suppliers. We satisfy our EU masters by allowing them to oversee the initial planning. And we provide the nodding donkeys to rubber-stamp everything and collect all the plaudits and reelection once its done.

    What could go wrong?

  10. Tax the foreigners!!!!!!!!!!!!That is anyone without Irish Genes. Here is my DNA test, I do not pay the tax.

  11. “Back to markets and money, you have to do everything in your power to be on the long side of the Canadian dollar until at least 2018. Friends of mine from China tell me that they can send money “offshore” in copious quantities to invest in foreign real estate and that the Chinese government is actually printing the currency out of “thin air” in order to finance the orderly conversion to ANY OTHER currency. Canadian banks are more than happy to take the Renminbi or Yuan and give them loonies because they get the transaction fees and a new account. China is bestowing billions upon billions of dollars onto its citizens from a Ponzi-scheme economy that is on life-support from a massive QE-stimulated effort.

    Until the Canadian government restricts the conversion of questionable Chinese paper into loonies and toonies, the homes and farms and cottages of Canadians will be absconded with by foreigners with a purpose. That purpose is essentially to establish a beachhead in a free and democratic country unprotected by foreign investment limitations with this “found money” fabricated by a country with a massively-indebted financial sector. Therefore, since Canada is now the destination of choice for the Chinese “nouveau-super-riche”, it is driving prices through the roof and in due course, the Canadian dollar will respond.” …………Michael Bellanger

  12. “Detached housing sales have plunged 84 per cent on Vancouver’s West Side and are down 88 per cent in Richmond during the first two weeks of August compared to the same period in 2015. Total detached house sales through the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver plunged 71 per cent in the same period. Zolo Realty BC Inc., a real estate firm that tracks average, rather than benchmark, prices in Vancouver’s housing market, reports that as of Aug. 22, the average home price in the city dropped 17.1 per cent from July 25, to $1.1 million.”

    “Noted real estate investment analyst Ozzie Jurock said it is likely that there will be a sharp increase in listing inventory in the weeks ahead. ‘As investors, we need to batten down the hatches,’ Jurock told his readers this week.”


  13. dan martin

    Interesting article.

    While I agree with many of the arguments made, I feel the simplistic suggestion that 40 story residential buildings in the docklands area can somehow solve the current property crisis to be completely removed from reality.

    Ireland has many shortcomings from the perspective of urban planning and a full discussion of these is beyond the scope of this comment but fundamentally we are a low population density country.

    The current appetite for high density living remains in it’s infancy as is our ability to provide high quality living spaces.
    While the docklands opens the possibility of higher rise development the provision of this must bear in mind the experience of many European cities where such high rise develompent is almost exclusively commercial.
    London being an exception, if one looks across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain (the highest population EU countries) the age of high rise (>30 story) residential developments is passed for more than 30 years.

    The docklands does not have the basic infrastructure required for such development (transport especially).
    In addition the street layout with numerous narrow roads and lanes does not provide the necessary light to develop a liveable high rise location. High rise buildings as proposed in this location would require a complete overhaul of the current layout and the adoption of minimal street width dimensions.
    Furthermore our location at 53 North means that light angulation does not provide sufficient light at street level for plant growth if multiple high rise developments are undertaken – it is no coinicidence that most high rise locations are located much closer to the equator.

    If one looks at Eurpoean cities at similar latitudes to Dublin and of similar size (examples such as Cologne, Duesseldorf, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Rotterdam) and even much larger cities (Paris, Madrid, Milan), residential buildings of more than 35 floors number in low single digits for almost all.

    The docklands could potentially support a limited number of buidings of this height if well spaced but most Eurpean cities achieve high density liveable environments without building beyond 100m (20 floors) for the most part.

    Finally, the cost of going higher means that a change in regulation is very unlikely to result in any developer interest in 40 floor buildings in Ireland.

    • Deco

      In Ireland the problem is that urban development is stuck at a ground floor and one level above.

      No wonder there is a residential accomodation crisis. The urban space is used extremely inefficiently. It causes a shortage.

  14. Mike Lucey

    North facing sites, particularly in-fill sites can be difficult when it comes to orientating rooms so that they achieve a reasonable level of direct sunlight.

    Lets face it, its nice to be woken up in the morning by sunlight peeping through the gap in the curtains and to sit beside a west facing window in the evening and to have natural sunlight during the day in the kitchen / family living areas. The same applies to work spaces!

    One way to achieve this in limited aspect sites is to look to technology! For example,

    “Himawari transmits sunlight through optical fiber to wherever it’s needed, eliminating
    almost all ultraviolet and some infrared rays.
    Himawari supplies value-added sunlight to buildings and makes indoor-sunbathing possible.”

    Here is a direct link to the company’s PDF which shows pictures of what can be achieved

  15. Debt, deficits and higher taxes combine to destroy the economy.
    Propped up by central bank lending at historically unprecedented low interest rates the debt cannot easily be unwound. The stock markets and the bond markets are both at unsustainable highs. It will be a generation before the enforced austerity eases and the economy resorts to solid steady growth and creation of wealth.
    The housing markets are perched on the edge of the abyss of unsustainable low interest rates.–politics/debt-deficits–economic-warnings?post=104726

  16. fearmcduda

    Do any of you esteemed contributors actually live in a 40th floor flat?
    Is it not the definition of shit hole? What has happened that the only solution is to put the people of the forest in rat cages in the sky?

    • Deco

      I have lived at the 18th floor, and the 32nd floor in apartment blocks in Canadian cities. And it is an enjoyable living experience. It was perfect. This is why I am astounded with all the bullsh!t from people who never have lived in tall buildings. All these lazy assumptions that a lazy semi-d in West Dublin or Kildare is the “answer”. It must be a territorial obsession complex.

      Living in a large apartment complex is actuall extremely time efficient. There is usually a supermarket on the ground floor, or underground level. There are usually carparks. And perhaps a gym.

      A large apartment complex offers excellent living options. But there needs a holistic view of this.

      • Yes , the higher the suite in a tower block, the greater the price. top floor pent house units sell for big bucks. Ground floor a little more than second or third floor but after that the prices ascend with the floor level.

        I am talking market prices delivered by market forces.

        Personally I would rather live in a tent on a river bank in a field than a highrise. BUT others like the highrises.
        A large complex includes all amenities such as Deco mentioned. Better yet is the integration of office space with the apartments. Eating , working, shopping and living in the same neighbourhood is possible.

        an example close here is the re-development of the industrial wasteland and docks of Victoria West. High rises 10-20 floors abound as well as walkways, cycle paths, lots of parking, pedestrian malls etc. a place that used to be scorned is now desirable. Ditto the suburb of Langford. The mayor, Stu Young made a policy that any application by a developer would have an answer, yes/no, within 30 days. The staff became cheerful and the engineers office of the municipality became a pleasure to visit. In Other municipal offices it took 2 years of bureaucratic BS to get an answer. Guess where all the development went??

    • Sideshow Bob

      I have lived in the 13th and 16th floors of smaller 15-20 storey blocks in two developing countries, on two different continents.
      I had no problems. All kinds of shops and restaurants and transport was nearby. And they were more flexible for family life, with better layouts with better facilities than 90% of Irish apartments.

      The prejudice here comes from the bad press stories, poor management and NIMBY snobbery around Ballymun c.1960-2015.


    How much does the corporate tax break push up the real estate prices as these mega firms jostle for space in Dublin.

  18. Deco

    Apple and the EU tax ruling is a big story.

    The Trots (Richard Boyd Barrett, Paul Murphy, etc..) will demand that the 13 billion get blown on buying votes for Trots.

    This is going to be a pantomine. You will never hear an end to the rabble rousing. The Free Stuff political options smell political pensions, and they need to get the voters behind them in their ambitions.

    The sensible options include
    - reduce the national public deficit
    - infrastructure spending that reduces the economic cost base and increases productivity

    Dart Underground is estimated to cost 3 Billion. It would overhaul transit in Dublin. If integrated with high density, residential development, it would drive up productivity in the East region, and drive down the amount of time people spend in cars and buses.

    • The only problem with speculating who will do what with the windfall taxes is that the money is frozen pending appeal by Apple. In reality it does not exist and as the article itself indicates, a good portion will be absorbed by legal fees.

  19. Deco

    Downing Street is indicating that they are prepared to offer Apple a deal, whilst Kildare Street is now getting down to how to blow 13Billion Euro on PR stunts and vote buying.

    The key influencer here is FF. And if the past is any guide, FF will use 13 Billion Euro to generate inflation, and deficits in the Irish economy – perhaps with benefits for their most loyal supporters.

    At this point in time, the EU, a power monolopy is restrictive Ireland.

    One wonders how The “Irish” Times will react – given that it’s long establishment tendency to serve two masters – US multinationals, and Brussels. Along with a fondness for the large, oversized institutional state that props it up, via official announcements, that nobody reads anyway, and that should be on a state website.

  20. Truthist

    Meanwhile back at the ranch ;
    Howell Implicates Hillary, CIA in False Flags, Trump Assassination
    August 30, 2016
    Clinton body count. Attorney Brenda Corpian beaten with an inch of death after Howell interview.
    This explosive story has gone under the radar.
    “Brenda Corpian”, a pseudonym, is the attorney who broke the story
    of James Wesley Howell seeking police protection after refusing to
    execute a CIA plot to bomb the Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade June 12,

  21. coldblow

    Just a side point, but I don’t believe the national task force’s figures on ‘obesity’. I just don’t see the evidence for it where I live (in Kerry).

  22. Sideshow Bob

    “To proceed to the execution phase, there needs to be a massive change to planning laws where developers or owners who are sitting on zoned land need to be given a ‘use it or lose it’ option. This option should be targeted at urban brown field sites. If owners don’t build up on urban land by a certain date, they should lose the planning permission and the land should revert to industrial use.´´

    This is hugely, hugely ignorant and inaccurate paragraph. Ultimately it is completely non-nonsensical as a suggestion.

    Zoning is not planning (permission). It is a separate thing. All lands ( sites if you wish) in Ireland have a zoning. Zoning indicates what is considered to be suitable for planning permission applications in an area or particular site. Usually if a planning permission complies with a zoning objectives ( e.g. high density housing in an urban core area ) and development standards for the proposal ( e.g. car-parking ) and other policies ( conservation, streetscape, finishes, etc ) then it should be granted, by the local authority and if not by an Bord Pleanala.

    Zoning is decided by the Local Authority and approved by the Council itself. There is a process of study educated decision making and final approval in by a democratic body. The Minister has powers,too, if there are problems with any of that. Planning permission is a different thing between land owners/developers and the local Authority and has to be conducted within the framework of zoning and development plans.

    A Planning Permission HAS a lose it clause. It lasts ( by statute) for 5 years from the date of the grant if not enacted in its entirety. Some permissions for bigger and complex sites have longer periods, 10 years at most. Under some circumstances an extension can be gained but the project must be at roof level upon expiration for this to occur.

    Planning permission does not attach itself to a developer it attachs itself to the land and property in question. It is not private propertty that we are talking about it is real property. Every economist who strays into this area forgets this. Land/property Economics and regular Economics are two different things with different basis´s and dynamics.

    The reality is that in most situations a developer needs to be on site with a development 4 years into a PP grant period at the absolute latest to make sure it all happens under the original PP and not have to go through the ringer again.

    David McWilliams here is confusing Planning Permission and zoning. He is suggesting that zoning should change on a site because planning permission is not activated and used. This is a simply ridiculous suggestion.

    Worse than this though for me is that he is suggesting that developers and private sector who have to finance development via loans will be PENALIZED in a blanket for inaction ( however justifiable or not) or even for situations beyond their control which cause a development not to take place. Who would want to try to develop anything? The only losers here would be society.

    I am very tired of hearing ideas based on the prejudicial notion that there are loads of imaginary land-hoarding developers all over Ireland conspiring to create the mess we are in.

    Nearly all of us had a hand in creating it, and a first step to dealing with it would involve admitting that to ourselves as a society.

    • Our host is a central planner, born, bred and educated so it is now second nature as a solution for everything.

    • Truthist

      Hi Bob,

      Reading ur posts on this topic with great interest of course ;
      U having deep knowledge & sincere interest & good heart & not tainted by Frankfurt Schoolism.

      As it is, I have mind block with ;

      “It is not private property that we are talking about it is real property.”

      Looking forward to ur explanation of this point.



      • Sideshow Bob

        Sure, Truthist.

        I will try to explain first the statement quoted above and then the implication for Economists, and other commentators.

        The statement is simple enough though it is a term that confused in the common mind. Private property are goods and objects ( not fixed to the land ) and Real property is land, buildings, and some other structures fixed to the land ( read telecom pylons, advertising hoardings anything like this). There is a moment in construction when private property becomes real property, e.g. bricks on a pallet in a site are the private property of the contractor or owner of the site depending on who paid for them and become real property when they are cemented to the structure. In the same way some items unfixed from a site ( say a nice antique fireplace ) can revert to being private property although this is limited as the property can´t be demolished or altered significantly without permission (I am digressing a little here with this point but I want to explain the idea because it underlines the differing concepts).

        Private property isn´t subject to a lot of laws. Laws about waste and pollution apply for disposal and contract sales of good can apply if such goods or objects are being sold. Some safety considerations apply to the manufacture of goods obvviously. That is it pretty much. Private property isn´t governed by the state by in large, the owners of the property can largely do as they wish with it, without seeking permission. Hence it is private.

        Real property (Real Estate if you like) on the other land is one of the basis that the state has a hold on each and every person. The name Real ( Royal ) means of the King, i.e. implies the King owns all the realm, which is a feudal notion. in feudal times it was given to lords in return for allegiance, armies and or money. And they passed it on down the line to lesser lords knights and finally serfs. And there are just two types of holdings you can have; freehold (`owners´)or leasehold (`renters´ from King or freeholders). All land which hasn´t a freehold or leasehold on it is owned by the King or State ( see how this works?). The land in a freehold reverts to the King (or the State now) if a freehold is extinguished i.e. not sold sold or passed on by succession (wills). With Real Property all development – so change or destruction of real estate – can only OCCUR with the EXPRESS permission of the King ( State ) i.e. now that is planning permission. Also, a large number of other rules now apply via building control legislation. Also the sale and transfer of property is a different act to regular sales (conveyancing) though it ois also governed by contract law. Real property can have right attached right of ways, rights for neighbouring properties to light and support, party wall obligations all complicating matters and influencing all goings on. Many other aspects apply, too, landlord and tenant law, mortgage law, etc. There is a huge swath of conservation law not enacted with restrictions all over the country.

        So, on the whole any dealing or understanding of property has a complicated legal basis. Also every property can be different ( and therefore transactions, development possibilities linked to it have different dimensions depending on the mixed of laws or concepts that apply) and few properties can be grouped together as being the same unlike products or goods. Some laws or legal concepts are more modern additions but all nearly have their basis in common law concepts from feudal times i.e when commoners are serfs, little different than slaves, and when towns and cities were miserable, disease ridden and quite low density and small. The Romans and the Carthaginians built cities reasonably well, and nobody after them until the 20th century managed the same. Spain, Italy and France are examples of ex Roman dominated countries who know how to build and live in cities. The middle and eastern Europeans figured it out buy themselves. We never built them well or understood them and our laws reflect this and remain largely unchanged. I hope this is clear. I am digressing again however.

        Essentially the key concept in this feudal-ly originated form of land law that is that we borrow in one form or other the land we live on and the properties we live in and the State remains in ultimate control. And this is tied to taxation. Law itself, too, is a conservative area where the few people who understand land law are of the upper strata rich and live in nice older areas that they don´t want to have changed and (this suits them and their progeny). So they won´t ever change it. Again I digress. Coming back to land law itself an example of a newer but still old concept would be those of privacy from overview and right to light. They largely come from the 19th century or before, are completely unscientific in their formulation, and are not revised for needs of the modern world ( i.e. industrialized or post industrialized economy based around cities with high populations with motorized transport and minimum space requirements per person )or the fact that we can measure these things now. These obsolete notions are a significant reason for why we ( both in the past and now) can´t built higher or more densely in Irish cities and why we won´t be able to go up in the future either, unless they are changed. These are examples of underlying restrictions that aern´t even mentioned as a small part of the debate, possibly because D Mc W and the likes of him aren´t aware of it( though his wife is a lawyer, so he could find out easy enough).

        This brings me back to the comment you highlighted. Land and property economics are heavily shaped by this legal this complicated framework ( enacted via planning law for example ) and in addition to other factors and sentiments in the economy result in behaviour and patterns in property markets and development that are badly at odds with the normal patterns that Economics applies to pricing and market behaviour. The common economics price stability and notions of the free hand of the market are derived from ideas about private property (goods) in markets not from the real property ( and construction and development) markets. The mantras, the unthinking reactions that the likes of D McW wheels out at moments like this are therefore badly flawed. Constantin Gurgdiev does it, too ( and see the ex-builder M Coughlan´s mantra above about price and supply and my reply ). They may be well intention-ed, and can spot an overall pattern, say a bubble, but they get little else right when they apply regular their Economics training in private property to real property.

  23. Sideshow Bob

    Here I am going ignore the zoning vs planning confusion that I talked about above and talk about the other side of this (below) suggestion the market element.

    “…there needs to be a massive change to planning laws where developers or owners who are sitting on zoned land need to be given a ‘use it or lose it’ option.´´

    Ok, as long as this applied equally to the State, State Agencies, and the Church ( major landholder ) as well. So it would apply to any underused sites I presume? Any system applying an idea like this would need be fair at the very least.

    If such a rule is just applied to the private sector all of the cost will go there and be borne by those at the bottom of the food-chain i.e. Joe Soap, Mrs Soap and family.

    So, to go on: underused sites would have to be identified and designated fairly . I don´t know how that would occur in an Irish society which is largely planning-ignorant and has no existing planning consensus even on small matters. NIMBY ism abounds even a Government Minister (Shane Ross) was getting in on it (unreasonably) to garner votes recently. nauseating.

    I digress: To give equal access to all sites requisitioned for sale too somehow an equal access auction would have to be created and applied. Such a market would also need to stimulate actual development and so offer ( via the State ) or connect ( to lending banks) purchasers with fair and even terms of finance, and so to push on actual development. Most building companies were decimated so an initiative like this may well give a chance for the industry to re-emerge and for new companies to develop too. It is simply a shadow of its former self at present. Perhaps too, swaps could be arranged. Land s for schools in exchange for land for housing for example. Existing users may have to be rehoused, and perhaps against their will too which is far from easy.

    So, to conclude the only nations I know that have laws and ownership ideas that permit such things are Communist dictatorships, and have a docile cowed or battered population that doesn´t resist them. That isn´t us I am afraid to say.

    Also, given the Irish experience with NAMA the insiders will likely naturally dominate and enrich themselves further on the back of the disaster they mainly created. And probably, this being Ireland, any scheme will be half or even quarter baked only borne of political strokes and bound-up in self-contradicting red-tape by ignorant bureaucrats. I think the State and professional entities and bankers will look to get their hands on a good portion of any largesse going PRIOR to any useful outcome for such an initiative. And, when they have their pockets lined any momentum would soon dissipate. It would be just another game. So, on the whole, I think this is a non-runner.

    Perhaps an incentive based system could be used for all of this instead? Still. I doubt that could work, for the same reasons as above. This is Ireland after all.

    Actually that is a hilarious suggestion ( in any form that you like) on the whole. The idea that this could advance in the best interests of society and without being fiddled by the kleptocrat class would require an unreal level of naïveté.

  24. Sideshow Bob

    “Our development model is pure West Coast America. Ireland is more Denver than Denmark.´´

    Ireland is not more Denver than Denmark. It is much closer to Denmark in terms of urban development. Denver is new, barely 150 years old. It has a clean grid iron street system. Its land plots are 99% rectangular ones with wide roads on one or two sides. It has no archeological remains from earlier ages beneath it. Google it, and switch to the earth view and you will be able to see this. Google any other city in the Americas or Australia, and you will find the same thing.

    On the other hand Ireland is old. It is European. The urban cores of its largest cities and towns have their origin about 1000 years ago with the Vikings, or 200 years later with the Normans. This means that by enlarge our urban land patterns i.e. site plots, streets systems, even road and old field systems are of ancient origin and not of the modern world ( Denver on the other hand was divided up fit for purpose with wide straight streets and logical ample right angled plots. Also, the building forms on these Irish urban sites, and our idea of what buildings should look like now too, take their ques from the past. Take for example Georgian townhouses of central Dublin. These are large houses designed for rich members of the ascendancy with many servants no modern toilet or cars yet how many apartment building in Dublin are obliged to mimic their shape and height? It is easier to build freely and in a modern way in Denver as they don´t have a local Frank McDonnell shouting about the wonderful, artistic, historical significance of each and every 3-storey 200 year old Victorian pile of bricks for 2 miles around. Progess is important there. Frank McDonnell is important here. And now we have chronic homelessness, too, as Dublin fails to adapt.

    We have few planted towns ( or colonial if you like founded from 1550 onwards ) unlike America and almost no large ones. Westport is the biggest complete one that I can think of, at a population of 6000 people. Granted some core areas of Dublin ( and Limerick and Cork ) are planned and newer say 250-150 years old ( Mountjoy Square area, Merrion Square area, D6 & D4 in Dublin ) but the past still looms large. All of these core areas and the sites they contain are protected to some degree, lesser or greater, by extensive conservation legislation.

    This freezing in time of Ireland´s urban centers has a significant effect on their ability to develop and adapt to modern life. Many of the smaller ones are being abandoned and the larger ones ( Dublin, Cork and Galway ) are incapable of serving up sites suitable for large modern office blocks. This means any new development will have to be on the periphery. This induced urban sprawl is very damaging to us as a society.
    Denver doesn´t suffer from this, or at least to this degree.

    To return this point to the article if Tesco´s forward planners were looking create a new large flagship store in central Dublin it would be nigh on impossible to economically purchase a large suitably sized and located site due to the real scarcity of non-protected sites, and the inherent difficulty with dealing with trying to reconcile a simple building of the modern world the hypermarket or large supermarket with typical Dublin Townhouses. There is a big cost to both options. If they were to do the same in Denver I would be surprised if they couldn´t buy a few underused lots bang in the center of the city and do as they needed, with more money to spend on doing it well.

    We are choking ourselves in this regard. The centers of our towns and cities are in danger of becoming irrelevant museums, useful for tourists only.

  25. “Financial writer John Rubino says don’t be fooled by the phony economy propped up by central banks. Rubino co-wrote a book a few years ago called “The Money Bubble.” It could have been written this week because almost everything he predicted then is coming to a head now. Rubino contends, “The money bubble is basically the big bubble that all previous bubbles have been built on. All the previous bubbles have come and gone, and “The Money Bubble” is about money, government debt and financial instruments, in general. So, it’s a global bubble that is bigger than anything that has come before. Part of the reason it has gone on so long is everybody is participating. Every central bank has a printing press, and that allows them to fool people . . . . It fools people into thinking that the world is basically normal, and it’s not normal. . . . We are creating the conditions for the Mother-of-All financial crises. It is taking longer to happen than was thought of a few years ago, but it is starting to happen now. The QE (money printing) programs of the past few years, which were wildly experimental and really shocking to economists and everybody else, turn out not to work. . . . Either the system is getting ready to break down shortly or go on to a new level of experiments that are going to be even more dangerous . . . either way, the current system is toast.”

  26. Sideshow Bob

    DEJA- VU?

    (Article Title) Hands up who wants to make Dublin more liveable?

    Posted in Sunday Business Post August 24, 2015

    “One of the reasons is the unintended consequences of the council trying to do the right thing. After much criticism of “jerry-built” apartments during the boom and horror stories of cowboy builders, the council has designed minimum standards for apartments.

    One of these is a ban on north-facing and east-facing units. I am not too sure that many people care if their flat is east-facing; sure, it would be nicer to be west or south-facing, but let people choose. It’s not as if Dublin is blessed with consistent tropical weather which makes those long, lazy, sunny, south-west-facing evenings so essential.

    The main problem for supply of this east and north-facing apartment ban is that it renders half the site worthless to a developer. So the developer will only buy the site if it comes down in price rapidly. This is one clear impediment to development, and it is a classic example of too little regulation being followed by too much; as if too much regulation now will in some way compensate for the sins of the past.´´

    ( and further on )

    “Take another new regulation about the minimum size of an apartment. Again, as a result of tiny apartments built in the boom, the council has deemed that the minimum size of a two-bed apartment in Dublin must now be 90 square metres. So the idea was to protect the consumer. But what has happened?

    Because only half the derelict sites in Dublin can be used due to the north and east-facing ban, this rule has pushed up the cost of building.´´

  27. Sideshow Bob

    There where a number of responses to this made at the time, here are two from myself first and Dorothy Jones:


    David McW has way over exaggerated the restrictions. I would love to know where he got this idea because it is way off the mark. The restrictions are listed below and referenced should anybody wish to look them up.

    It is permissible to build apartments facing the north and east. But they must have a wall with windows facing another cardinal point, including north or east. The only thing which is not permissible are single aspected i.e. an apartment with one straight exterior wall only facing north or east.

    Excerpt follows:

    254 | DUBLIN CITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN 2011 – 2017
    17.9.1 Residential Quality Standards

    In relation to apartments, a minimum of
    85% of the units in a scheme must have
    dual aspect, that is, have at least two major
    external walls facing different directions
    in order to provide for optimum natural
    lighting, cross ventilation and sunlight
    penetration. Dual aspect can include
    corner units, through apartments and
    crossover duplexes.

    Single aspect apartments must be south
    or west facing and be limited in depth to
    8 m from a window to provide adequate
    daylight and natural ventilation. North or
    east facing single aspect apartments will
    not be permitted.

    (Dorothy Jones, August 25, 2015 at 11:02 am)

    Good SSB, I had to look that up to check also after I read the article, because I thought I had missed something…. We are dealing with a number of residential proposals currently and find Planning Authorities supportive of good quality residential schemes. Publishing inaccuracies in relation to guidelines isn’t helpful to anyone. I wonder why David did that? D

  28. Sideshow Bob


    (Sideshow Bob, August 25, 2015 at 3:01 pm)

    Improved standards were in place at the start of the crash from 2007 on-wards…but little has been built since …what is going on here, and what David McW seems to be repeating, is the builder/developer agenda of badmouthing of said improvements and seeks to claw back those standards, to increase profits. The lessons learned exercise will be measured by our ability to resist this backward movement. Sideshow Bob

  29. Sideshow Bob

    And again:

    (Sideshow Bob, August 24, 2015 at 4:39 pm )

    David McWilliams,

    Another error in your piece, to the rather large one that I pointed out above, is as follows;

    The minimum size in the DCC Development plan ( p.254 ) for a 2 bed unit, the most ubiquitous apartment size, is 80 M sq. not 90 M sq. In the boom these units were typically sized in the mid-sixties and were inadequate principally in relation to kitchen & utility areas and available internal storage. Part M or universal access / lifetime homes provisions were also found often to be sub-par. To make them really live-able in the medium to long term for families, like apartments in most places in the world, they need to get bigger at a minimum by 15-20 percent, and in a specific fashion. This is an improvement on quality particularly if you actually aspire to having a more live-able city with a denser population like you say. It is not something to moan about.

    Seriously, David McW, can I ask where you got your information on this matter? It is very inaccurate and biased. Your assertion about not being able to build north or east facing units, rendering half of all sites unusable is largely incorrect. This is the second time you have brought this matter up inaccurately in your columns, too. Sounds like a disgruntled builder/developer has been feeding you some nonfactual biased opinions to be honest. And then you have gone on to repeat them!

  30. Sideshow Bob

    So in summary from the above:

    There are no NEW regulations. They have been around for 10 years or so. North and east facing apartments are acceptable as long as they have a major wall with windows or a balcony facing another cardinal point and the minimum size for a 2 bed-apart is 80 not 90 m sq.

    And all of this has been said before.

    Adam, Gregorz et all, any opinion on this piece of repetition?

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