Dog box or shoe box apartments?
There’s a new kid on the blog block. Dublin Inquirer is an independent weekly online newspaper launched earlier this summer with a refreshing take on the current state of affairs in the city of Dublin. It’s been described by prolific political blogger/Tweeter, Suzy Byrne (@suzybie) as the “best thing to appear online in a long time”.
In this week’s edition (published on Wednesdays) Frank McDonald, former Environment Editor of the Irish Times, takes aim at construction industry heavyweights who are pressurising legislators and planners to lower building standards and reduce the size of apartments. In “Frank: Here’s Who Wants Smaller Apartments” he lists the main vested interests and notes:
“It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that, if standards are reduced as proposed, it will show that we’ve learned nothing from the boom and bust. But whether city councillors will share that progressive view, or cave in to pressure from the lobbyists, remains to be seen in September.”
Frank McDonald has been consistently critical from a consumer perspective of Building Control Regulations introduced by former Minister Phil Hogan in 2014. In a statement to the ‘Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis’ last March he noted successful efforts by influential construction lobbies to defer improved energy standards (link to Oireachtas Report here):
“Those relationships were very close. The construction industry, in particular, is very well connected, not just with the present Government but also with previous Governments, and very well able to lobby politicians and all the rest of it.”
It looks like builders, developers and professional groups are supportive of lower standards to enhance profits and get mass speculative building going again. Is anyone looking out for the consumer in the longer term?
Link to Dublin Inquirer article by Frank McDonald here:
Other posts by Frank McDonald: