Reports in Dublin abound lately that the city council is considering reducing minimum apartment size regulations in the face of supply issues in Dublin and with a hope of getting construction companies to start building again.
I’m appalled. I’m aware that Dublin has supply issues but personally instead of letting the construction companies – who hardly covered themselves in glory much in the last 15 years – dictate or influence regulations in a bid to maximise profits, I’d be looking at who has what planning permission, how long they have it for and putting in increasing tax as time without completed building elapses. When I came to Dublin in 1999, a mortgage advisor insinuated that all the building land with planning permission in Dublin was held by just 8 companies. The price increases we were seeing then paled into nothing compared with what was to come.
I don’t know if that was then true or whether this is still the case. However, the fact remains that buildings are not like loaves of bread, out of date and disposable overnight. If we continue to build poor accommodation, and god knows most of the apartments in Dublin are unattractive to buy or live in, then we are stuck with it for years into the future. I’m not happy about this. Our regulations need to focus on the future of the city as well, and not just the desires of the builders.
Dublin is an increasingly unattractive city to live in. Maybe our city fathers need to do a brainstorming in terms of what sort of city they want. Already I’m having difficulty answering the question “why would anyone want to live in Dublin”. It’s a hard city to live in when you bear in mind the accommodation stock, the public transport system, the roads system and the ongoing feeling that you’re being hit day after day, after day, by more good reasons not to live here.