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RIAI Comment on the new Urban Development and Building Heights Guidelines for Planning Authorities

Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) has welcomed the new Urban Development and Building Heights Guidelines for Planning Authorities as published by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government as part of a suite of guidelines to encourage the consolidation of our urban footprint by more sustainable use of land and infrastructure.

The guidelines are in line with current RIAI policies which call for increased urban density and the diversification of use in new developments. However, the RIAI has reiterated its assertion that quality design and place making must be prioritised in planning assessments to deliver high-rise living that creates vibrant and sustainable communities.  It's important that assessment criteria are clear and uniform across all planning authorities to ensure consistency in decision making particularly in areas where height has not been a consideration in the past

Claire McManus RIAI Housing Spokesperson: ‘Increasing population and decreasing household size means we need new apartments in our existing urban areas, to stop urban sprawl, and to at least maintain existing neighbourhood populations and the viability of the services they need. With the new guidelines announced, the Government and Local Authorities have an opportunity to deliver a new format of high-quality urban living and working but higher density must be accompanied with high quality urban realm including public parks and squares to enhance the environment for communities.’

She added ‘Apartments are an indispensable part of this equation and at present their provision is not viable at an affordable price. Some financial interventions to support apartment building will need to be considered to enable the welcome intent of these guidelines’. High-rise buildings are complex to deliver and have associated design building costs.The RIAI will continue to support our members to meet the highest standards in sustainability and quality of design in new developments.

Categories: Architecture | Press Releases | RIAI Press Release

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