Saturday, 14 April 2018

Known unknowns: how many houses are we really building?

Ten years on from the crash and we still don’t have an accurate measure of housing output. The one metric that might give us an understanding of the scale of the current crisis and how to remedy it is essentially an unknown.Traditionally, the Department of Housing uses electricity connections as a proxy for counting new builds, but this method has proved entirely unreliable.  This is because new connections can be triggered by formerly vacant units – think of the myriad of ghost estates left over from the boom – coming back on stream. Even so, a figure of 19,300 completions for 2017, based on this questionable method, has been adopted.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Ballyogan and Environs LAP

It is proposed to prepare a Local Area Plan (LAP) for Ballyogan and Environs, an area covering Ballyogan, Kilgobbin, The Gallops/Glencairn (Leopardstown) and parts of Carrickmines and Stepaside. An LAP is a land use planning tool that guides the development of an area by way of policies and objectives.

In advance of preparing a draft LAP, DLRCC is engaging in public consultation, to help determine the planning issues the LAP should address. DLRCC is seeking views of individuals and organisations with an interest in the area. Submissions may be made online or by post any time up to 5pm on Thursday 24th May by clicking this Make a Submission link. This link also contains details of Public Information Meetings.

To help inform this consultation, the DLRCC Planning Department has prepared a Story Mapwhich provides a context for the area by way of online interactive maps and images, and an Issues Paper which pulls together baseline information by way of a study of various planning themes relevant to the area. Just click on the links.

You are invited to consider these in advance of making your observation, as they may help in framing your submission. Printed copies of the Issues Paper are available for inspection at the County Council offices in Dun Laoghaire and Dundrum, and at all DLR libraries. Link to DLRCC website here. If you need help making a submission contact bps here.

Vow to fast-track social housing projects

The Government is determined to fast-track the delivery of more social housing projects, Junior Housing Minister Damien English has insisted. But available land will have to be used more efficiently, with more high-rise, high-density developments likely in appropriate locations, he said. His department is due to issue new building height guidance to local authorities within a matter of weeks, he confirmed.  Mr English was speaking yesterday at the official handing over of 52 new homes to families in Knocknaheeny, on the northside of Cork City, which were developed by Deermount Construction in two phases worth €10.2m as part of Cork City Council’s ambitious North West Quarter Regeneration Plan (NWQRP) which aims to deliver 650 homes across a vast swathe of the city’s northside.

Read the full article @ Irish Examiner

Work at Dún Laoghaire Baths to begin as contract finally signed

Work on the re-development of Dún Laoghaire’s derelict baths site is to begin as soon as possible. Contracts were formally signed on the 10th April by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. The planned programme of works was initially expected to cost €2.5 million but the cost is expected to substantially higher given additional engineering works required to secure the road and retaining walls between the DART line and the site.

The new Dún Laoghaire Baths, which has been designed by dlr Architects' Department (details here), will see a new public café linked to an outdoor terrace with views over the Bay, along with studio workspaces for artists and new life guard facilities. New public toilet facilities at street level will be fully accessible for the mobility impaired and a new jetty and changing areas will provide access to the water's edge for swimmers and landing points for canoes, kayaks and other water sports equipment.

The development will take approximately 22 months to complete and will open to the public in the spring of 2020. The new Dún Laoghaire Baths will be a long-term, public amenity for the area and county. It will provide not only a connection between Newtownsmith and the People's Park, but will also bring link the town of Dún Laoghaire with its seafront. The project will breathe new life into the seafront and will attract more visitors to Dún Laoghaire town.

Link to DLRCC website here.

Six-storey apartments ‘are optimal height for affordability’

Increased structural and safety costs for high-rise buildings mean that six-storey blocks are the “optimal height” to make “affordable” apartments economically viable for developers to build, a government report has found. The report said that apartment buildings of a greater height do not necessarily increase the density of housing developments. The findings are contained in a report – called the “review of delivery costs and viability for affordable residential developments” – published this week by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. It says that “contrary to common understanding, higher-rise development” can be a “a more expensive form of development”.
Read the full article @ The Irish Times

Children of flood-affected farmers to get planning exemptions

The children of farmers whose land is affected by flooding could soon have access to special planning exemptions under new proposals.  Minister of State for OPW and Flood Relief, Kevin 'Boxer' Moran revealed the plans at the commencement of preliminary works by OPW staff on the flood relief works at The Quay, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. The Minister told local reporters that there are many people particularly farmers who have land in flood plains and said “they cant give a bit of land to their son or daughter”. “I’m looking at ways through the local authorities, through the Department of Planning and through Minister Damian English that will allow those people if they want to build a house 10 or 15 miles away that local needs do not come into play.

Read the full article @ Irish Independent

Appeal lodged over 271-unit development in Rathnew, County Wicklow

An appeal has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála over the granting of planning permission for 271 housing units near to Tinakilly House in Rathnew.  In February, Wicklow County Council gave Keldrum Ltd permission to construct the 271 homes, although the initial planning application had sought 369 dwelling units. The development would also include state roads, parking facilities, pedestrian facilities and open space areas.  The planning condition granted also allows for the first phase of the Rathnew Inner Relief Road including the upgrade of the Merrymeeting Interchange. However, on March 26, an appeal was lodged with An Bord Pleanála against the plans.

Read the full article @ Wicklow People