The president of the Irish Planning Institute says that if councillors want to ensure more homes are built then they should adapt their development plans.
Joe Corr told Newstalk Breakfast that development plans contain guidelines, but that ultimately it is councillors who make the decisions.
He was responding to recent CSO figures which revealed that only 644 apartments were built in the third quarter of this year, a figure down on the same time last year.
“It is a shame that only 644 have been built. Apartment living is the most sustainable form of living and is the best use of sites.”
Apartments can be part of the solution to the housing crisis, but are not a panacea, he said. “It’s about consolidation and density.”
Mr Corr pointed out that each local authority has its own development plan “as there is evidence that not one size fits all.”
Planning experts on the council can offer guidelines, they can advise what works best on a site, he said, but ultimately it is the local councillors who have the final say.
The National Development Plan calls for consolidation, he added. Urban regeneration is needed.
However, he said that what would work for the city and what would work in the outer suburbs are different things as high density would not work in an area without public transport.
Builders will continue to build what sells, said Mr Corr. Apartment buildings can be more expensive, but he said that buildings under six stories can be cost-effective.
Planning guidelines need to be revised, he said, as they have not been examined since 2007.