What is the cornerstone of builders’ objections?

There is an ongoing high-stakes dispute between major builders and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council over new planning guidelines to govern apartment development in the South Dublin suburbs for years to come.

Under the council’s plan, a higher number of three-bedroom apartments will be built in key areas, while all apartment blocks should have better storage space and parking.

The measures set out in the council’s 2022-2028 draft development plan and proposed amendments have raised hackles from builders and estate agents selling new homes.

However, the amendments have already been agreed upon by councillors, so they would have to be reversed to remove them – which explains the lobbying effort now underway.

If followed, the proposals will improve the mix and quality of apartments, requiring that 40 percent of all apartments in complexes with more than 50 apartments have three bedrooms.

However, critics argue that they will stifle the supply of new apartments, thereby not solving the prolonged housing crisis, despite a succession of state interventions.

In fact, the crisis has only intensified since the draft plan was first published in October 2020. The council has indicated it will adopt a plan in March, which would set the rules to last for a decade.