Housing and public transport capacity


Sir, – It has been a feature of many stories of courts quashing planning permission that a point made in the ruling was inadequate public transport network capacity in the area. Objections to planning for housing are commonly raised on this basis. It appeared once again in the ruling featured in your article “Planning approval for Rathfarnham apartment scheme quashed by court” (Business, January 11th).

Objection to housing on this basis, particularly in Dublin, has always struck me as somewhat strange. To me, it implies two things. The first is that there should be no provision of housing in an area unless public transport is already significantly undersubscribed. In which case the service would likely either not exist to begin with or be planned to be wound down. The second is that the expansion of public transport capacity sits somewhere between intractably difficult or outright impossible. Which is nonsense.

Perhaps I am just ignorant and drawing wildly illogical conclusions. However, it does not fill me with confidence in our ability, or even willingness, to solve the housing and rental crises if people can look at the dire situation facing so many and feel that there perhaps being too many on the bus for their liking is worth adding to it. Much less so when local and national politicians support such objections for easy votes and publicity while courts uphold it as valid reasoning, however small a part in the rulings it may play. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 20.