Family-friendly apartments

Sir, – Having lived in France and the Netherlands, where apartment design is to a very high standard, and then returning to Ireland, where it is not, I was heartened to read of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council's plan for bigger and better-designed apartments (Arthur Beesley, "Builders seek reversal of planning guidelines for bigger apartments", News, January 8th).

However, I was disheartened to read of the property developers lobbying to keep standards low.

It is time that apartment design in this country was led by the needs of the residents.

I sincerely hope that the councillors are not swayed by any of these lobbyists, no matter how many “submissions” they receive from estate agents. – Yours, etc,




Dublin 11.

Sir, – Perhaps Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council could call these apartments two-bedroom units with a “workroom/office” to overcome the aversion to building apartments big enough for a family.

How the “workroom” is furnished is up to the buyer. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Well done to The Irish Times for publishing this article, which is a glimpse into the lobbying the property industry engages in.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is setting a target for three-bed apartments in the development plan because national policy dictates that we need more family-friendly apartments.

Developers still want to sell the model of apartments for single people and couples, and houses for families. That cannot continue; apartment schemes must become family-friendly. And what use is a two-bed apartment to a family? That leaves room for one or a maximum of two children, and no home-office space. The pandemic has shown the need for an extra room for working in. And what about a spare room for carers, guests, or grown-up offspring to stay in at Christmas time?

Imagine if the housing estates in Dundrum or Stillorgan had been built with more than 60 per cent one- and two-bed houses. Would they be the same successful, thriving family-friendly communities that they are today?

Apartments are the future of urban living for families; we need to plan accordingly.

If such schemes are unviable to build, there is ever-increasing assistance available from the likes of Home-Building Finance Ireland and the Land Development Agency to bridge the gap. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 2.