Last week Dublin City Council met to review and reconsider the proposed development plan and their decision to limit apartment heights to 24 meters in low rise inner city areas and 13 meters in sub-urban areas.  There are 13 areas in Dublin City Council’s functional area which have been designated as either a high rise or mid-rise area. Aside from these everywhere else is designated as a low-rise area. The height restrictions mean the residential developments in these areas are limited to eight stories in the city and four stories in the suburbs. The majority of the mid to high rise areas are located in the business districts, the South inner city and certain sub-urban residential areas.  The Department of Environment and Minister for Housing have voiced concern that restricting apartment sizes in low rise areas arguing that such restrictive limits will impact on the ability to supply the levels of housing needed to meet demand and solve the ongoing housing crisis. 

It will be interesting to see whether the Council will amend the current height restrictions upwards again or indeed if the Minister will intervene in the decision by way of ministerial order. Certainly there are very justifiable reasons to raise the roof. It would be the next step in increasing densities in the city and creating a more urbanised living city. It would also give more scope to developers to take on bigger projects now that development costs are finally levelling in the Dublin area and obviously facilitate more units coming on the market.  Let’s hope there can be some progressive decisions taken in the next few weeks.