Dublin’s planning problems


Sir, – Given that the housing crisis is central to Dublin’s ranking as almost the worst major European city for quality of life (“Dublin ranked as one of world’s most expensive cities”, News, November 16th), could I invite some of our local and national politicians to take a Luas journey from Connolly Station to Smithfield? As they travel through the centre of a city with some of the most expensive real estate in Europe, they will pass numerous dilapidated buildings.

After taking this depressing tram ride (and they would see much the same, and far worse, throughout the north inner city), could any of those officials then point to another European capital where, seconds from the most notable landmarks, entire streets and blocks stand in abject, empty disrepair?

Dublin’s housing and planning problems are not unique. Other countries also grant strong protections to private property that can make land management complicated.

What may be unique is that our politicians seem to feel no sense of shame that so many parts of the city they represent are in such a state and that decades can pass before even one building is repaired or brought into use. While no one would claim that the issues are straightforward, can anyone point to an intelligent and imaginative plan – one that will be pursued with urgency – to do something about derelict Dublin? – Yours, etc,


Clontarf, Dublin 3.