Apartment blocks up to 10 storeys supported by Housing Agency

Dublin City Council CEO seeks apartments up to nine storeys in ‘low rise’ areas

Owen Keegan CEO of Dublin City Council: wants to allow apartment blocks up to 28 metres tall  in “low-rise” areas of the city. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Owen Keegan CEO of Dublin City Council: wants to allow apartment blocks up to 28 metres tall in “low-rise” areas of the city. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

Apartment blocks eight to 10 storeys in height produce the “best outcomes” in terms of housing provision, chairman of the Housing Agency Conor Skehan has said.

Dublin City Council is this week debating the new city development plan, with a number of councillors having submitted motions to block an increase in the height of apartment buildings that can be constructed in the city.

City council chief executive Owen Keegan wants to allow apartment blocks up to 28m tall – the same height that is already permitted for office blocks, in “low-rise” areas of the city. Apartment blocks 28m tall would reach nine storeys, the existing maximum apartment height through most of the city centre is 19m or six stories.

A housing crisis was often “recruited” by developers pushing for greater height on their land, Mr Skehan said, and “trophy towers” were of little benefit in terms of housing provision. However he said: “Around the world a general height of 8-10 floors seems to produce the best housing outcomes in terms of density and connectivity.”

The State’s largest housing association, Clúid has said there was no reason Dublin’s apartment blocks cannot be built to the same height as offices.

Clúid’s director of policy Simon Brooke said, in the context of the housing shortage there was no reason to hold apartment blocks below the height of offices.

However, heritage body An Taisce has lobbied for a restriction of heights to 20m throughout the inner city.

“As a quintessentially low-rise city, clearly the scale and character of the inner city should not have heights greater than 20m foisted upon it,” it said.