Dublin City Councillors Calling For Changes To City Development Plan Regarding Free-Standing Structures

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Dublin City Councillors calling for changes to City Development Plan regarding free-standing structures

People Before Profit’s John Lyons believes the proposed change in the City’s planning regulations will significantly assist families currently trapped in a dysfunctional housing market

At today’s meeting of Dublin City Council’s Planning Committee, a motion to amend the Ancillary Family Accommodation section of the City Development Plan was passed.

The proposer of the motion, People Before Profit councillor for Dublin Bay North, John Lyons, believes that if the motion is fully implemented it could positively impact upon the housing situations of many families currently trapped in the private rental sector and priced out of the owner-occupier housing market.

The motion is as follows: ‘To amend Section 16.10.14 of the Dublin City Development Plan, namely the Ancillary Family Accommodation section which deals with providing a member of the immediate family with temporary accommodation,

to remove the following provision ‘The proposed accommodation is not a separate detached dwelling unit, and direct access is provided to the rest of the house’

and replace with

‘The proposed accommodation can be either an attached dwelling unit with direct access provided or a free standing structure to the rear or side of the main family dwelling.’

The effect of the motion would be to widen the scope for planning applications under Ancillary Family Accommodation so that the section would not solely refer to elderly and ill family members being able to avail of accommodation attached to the main dwelling but any family member could apply for planning permission for a free-standing structure under this section of the City Development Plan, Section 16.10.14.

The People Before Profit representative for Dublin Bay North contends that we are currently living through the worst housing crisis in the Irish state’s history, with this current generation set to be worse off than their parents.

He said: “Individuals and couples on middle incomes are literally priced out of the housing market, with all the evidence pointing to the fact that it is more difficult now for families to secure a home than it was in previous generations. The average worker will need 21 years before they can afford a deposit on a home, a couple will need nearly a decade. It’s #GenerationLockedOut and we need to take action.”

“It is quite clear,” Cllr Lyons continued, “that we have a generation of young families who have been literally locked out of the housing market. Struggling to pay ever-rising rents, which are up 60% on 2012, unable to save and with each passing day, further and further away from ever owning their own home, some families are buying log cabins as a way to escape all this madness, save some money with the aim having enough for a deposit in a few years. It is a sensible reaction to an irrational and out of control housing market, which has seen house prices increase by 40% in just six years. People need some financial breathing space.”

“Of course the kind of political actions required to end the housing and homelessness crisis will include using all available and suitable public lands to build public and affordable housing, the introduction of real rent controls, a complete ban on family evictions, the introduction of a national affordable housing scheme, an extensive rollout of the new cost-rental model and robust private sector tenant protections and inspections regime, but until such time as we achieve these policy goals, we need practical measures that can positively transform the difficult housing situations many families find themselves in. My motion, when implemented, will help many individuals, couples and families.”