Planning authorities’ height restrictions policies are not fit for purpose and continuing with such policies may lead to Ireland being left behind.
Sticking to the current restrictions is likely to cause more problems than it solves. Leaving aside the rising rents issue which has had much coverage, urban sprawl together with the lack of high density centrally located quality housing are likely to threaten Ireland’s ability to attract UK based businesses looking to relocate during or post Brexit. The fact that Ireland does not have enough quality residential units in the right location is a well talked about fact among our European counterparts. The only way to ensure Irish cities future as modern cosmopolitan European cities is to revisit the current planning policy as a matter of urgency.
Building higher density residential apartments in central locations does not mean sacrificing historical buildings or the overall historical character of cities, it merely means a greater focus and collaborative approach by planning authorities and developers on these aspects in planning conditions. A happy medium has to be found to drive Ireland forward and to position itself as one of the great places to live in Europe.
The failure of government – central and local – to adjust to the planning requirements of a modern European city may yet see Ireland bypassed in the opportunity presented by Brexit, leaving us only with the economic challenges. On housing and planning, the time for talk is long past