Dublin City Council to curb build-to-rent and small apartment developments

Under new capital city development plan complexes must include apartments for sale

Curbs on build-to-rent developments and studio and one-bedroom apartments are set to be introduced by Dublin City Council.

The new Dublin City Development Plan aims to stop developers from building blocks with no homes for sale, and to restrict studio and one-bed apartments to a maximum of 30 per cent of the development.

Build-to-rent schemes will also be restricted to specific parts of Dublin, including the inner city; areas of “high-intensity employment” ie with more than 500 employees per hectare; within 500m of major public transport interchanges; and within identified Strategic Development Regeneration Zones.

‘Critical mass’

No housing schemes would be rental-only under the new plan. Build-to-rent schemes of more than 100 homes would have to have at least 40 per cent of properties available for sale. Build-to-rent schemes of fewer than 100 homes will generally not be permitted, as they would not have a “critical mass” to support good communal facilities.

City planner John O’Hara said the policy changes are not a build-to-rent ban.

“The draft development plan is predicated on the whole notion of neighbourhood-making and sustainable communities. What we are looking for is a tenure diversity across the spectrum. Build-to-rent has only emerged in the last three years, but it has largely displaced build-to sell altogether,” he said.

Remote working

“The message from the property industry is that this is going to sink the whole build-to-rent typology. That is not the intention – with 40 per cent build-to-buy, the majority is still build-to-rent.”

The reduction in the number of studio and one-beds in all apartment schemes, from a 50 per cent to a 30 per cent maximum, in part reflected the trend towards more remote working where people were more likely to require an extra room in their apartment, Mr O’Hara said.

Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland said the policy change aimed to foster "high-standard, long-term, secure and sustainable housing".

Submissions on the draft plan can be made until February 14th.