New guidelines will see fewer parking spaces for apartments

They would also see more units built in a development

New guidelines will see fewer parking spaces for apartments

Minister Eoghan Murphy speaking to the press as he visits a new homeless facility in Dublin 2 | Image:

New draft planning guidelines will see fewer parking spaces available to residents in city centre locations.

The guidelines have been published to encourage "cost-effective" apartment developments and new rental accommodation models.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy says thousands of new apartments are needed in cities and major urban areas to tackle both the housing crisis and to avoid urban sprawl.

Minister Murphy told the Pat Kenny Show here on Newstalk: "Essentially what this is about is about building the right types of homes - so homes for individuals and for couples - building them in the right places - so in our city centres and urban centres - where a lot of the facilities and infrastructure already are.

"And making sure that we're building them at a price that's viable for developers to do that.

"We have a housing shortage in this country, and we have to build thousands of more homes - we have to make sure they're the right types of homes.

"As so as we look, not just to next year or the year after, we look to the next 10, 15 or 20 years, we know we have to build thousands of more apartments.

"These guidelines actually aren't about the height of apartment buildings - that will come later - this is about increasing density.

"More units per stairlift or elevator core".

The guidelines involve the removal of parking space requirements and increasing the number of units that can be built in a development.

They also allow for 'shared living' options which would see accommodation shared with other people.

Mr Murphy says: "Young people want to live in the city centre, they also want to have a bit more of an active lifestyle, and they want to be sharing their space with other people.

"They don't mind if they've got a smaller room like they might have had in college, as long as it's got an en-suite, if they then have a bigger living room - or if there's a games room or a shared TV room downstairs as well."

"And that's not the solution for everyone, of course it's not, we need to make sure there are solutions for different cohorts of our workforce".

Minister Murphy adds: "I believe (shared living options) will be very attractive to our multinational sector with its young and mobile workforce.

"We'll see the right types of homes being built, with more studios and one and two-bed apartments.

"And together with our 'above the shop' initiatives, the new proposals will open up far more vacant space in our cities and urban centres.

"All of this is important now, as we turn around our housing shortage - but it’s also crucial if the country is to develop in the right way in to the future."

On the topic of removing car parking spaces, Mr Murphy told Pat Kenny: "We've got to give the councils the flexibility to make those judgment calls.

"And we've also got to be alive to things like the shared economy when it comes to people sharing cars" - suggesting that in certain apartment blocks further out from the city centre there could be a percentage of car parking spaces for shared cars.

Some of the proposed updates are:

  • Default of reduced or no car parking
  • Clarification regarding location and density for apartments generally
  • Greater flexibility in relation to apartment type mix, to allow more studios, one and two bedrooms
  • New provisions for studio-type accommodation (37m2, max 25% in new build, up to 50% studios/1-beds)
  • Loosening of restrictions on dual aspect requirements (33% dual aspect default in urban cores)
  • Increased units per lift/stair core per floor (this was previously eight, it is now 12)
  • Specific provisions for existing building refurbishment and small-scale urban infill schemes (on smaller sites of up to 1 acre/0.4 hectare)
  • Clarifications re: how childcare and children’s play area requirements are calculated