Dublin City Council is considering a proposed plan to prevent an “over-concentration” of student accommodation developments within a 1km area, a step up from current regulations which state there should not be an over-concentration in a 250m space.
The proposed variation was based on a request by the Central Area Committee. If put into effect, the proposal could provide basis for planning authorities to oppose future student accommodation developments in the city. It is one of a number of proposed variations under consideration for the 2016-2020 Dublin City Development Plan.
Speaking to Trinity News, a Dublin City Council spokesperson stated: “It is considered that the proposed variation will provide enhanced information during the planning application process for student housing developments being proposed in the City Council area.”
“It is considered that this will help ensure that such developments are development in suitable locations and that there is not an over-concentration in certain areas,” they continued.
This follows similar sentiments by the Council in a publication consultation last month, in which the Council stated that while they would aim to prevent overpopulation of students in certain places, purpose built student accommodation would continue to gain approval in appropriate areas.
Councillors will receive a report written by planning officials in the near future before considering the proposal at the City Council meeting on September 4.
It is not clear what an “over-concentration” of student accommodation constitutes.
Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation (IBEC) has communicated their displeasure regarding the proposed changes in a submission to the local authority, saying that the new rule would undermine Dublin as an attractive city to live and study in.
IBEC’s Senior Policy Executive, Aidan Sweeney, stated that he wanted the proposal to be rejected, arguing that the proposal would dramatically reduce the number of areas available to develop student housing on. “The result will be to push future student housing provision to the outskirts of Dublin and beyond, impacting upon the quality of student life and on the future economic growth of the city,” he said.
This development comes after Daft.ie’s annual rental report, which found accommodation in Dublin continues to be difficult to find. The report found that rents in the city had increased by 12% on last year, with a decrease of 20% on the amount of properties available to rent.
In February, the Planning and Property Development committee in DCC was told that between 16,000 and 18,000 beds would be needed to adequately accommodate the city’s 80,000 students. However, of the 5,800 bed spaces in accommodation schemes specifically for students, 3,600 had not yet been constructed. The majority of these spaces got approval in the last 2 years.