New approach to tall buildings is a move to be welcomed says Ibec

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today welcomed planned Government measures allowing taller buildings and easing of restrictions on accommodation types.

This sensible approach to urban building height limits will play a significant role in housing Ireland’s rapidly expanding population. Our cities are also well positioned to attract a new wave of investment and jobs in the post-Brexit era. Measures addressing the current housing squeeze are to be welcomed.

Ibec Senior Executive Aidan Sweeney stated: “Ireland has long needed an effective approach to tall buildings, which will allow us to address the problems of urban sprawl, housing and commercial space shortages and improved densification. Government is developing a new evidence-base methodology for building heights in urban areas.

“It is not the case that our cities will be overtaken by high rise development. Instead, this new sensibly balanced approach follows established global practices of assessing the overall suitability of an area, the location and the context for development. Taller buildings can make a beneficial contribution, besides accommodation, to urban regeneration and to their surrounding streetscape and skyline.

“At a time of acute housing and commercial space shortages, local authorities have stuck to arbitrary and unreasonable height restrictions. This has weakened our overall ability to respond to the housing crisis. It has resulted in urban sprawl, longer commuting times and lower quality of life. It is right and proper for Government to intervene in this case.

“An improved approach to height and density is needed to unlock the economic potential of our cities. Ireland will benefit because our economy relies heavily on the performance of all our cities. These new guidelines together with the National Planning Framework will allow our cities to become more adaptable and capable of responding to the global rise of city regions, mobility of investment and accelerated urbanisation.”