Developer Michael O’Flynn seeks new measures to spur building

The housing crisis will never be solved unless a national property strategy includes the Government, local authorities, and the private sector, according to one of the country’s most well-known developers.

Cork housebuilder Michael O’Flynn of O’Flynn Construction said it was time the “bad boy” tag attached to developers was removed and that all parties were brought to the table to solve the shortage of housing.

Mr O’Flynn — who was speaking at a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants business breakfast in Cork — said that there was a lack of “joined-up thinking” at the moment that was hampering housebuilding.

He acknowledged that while developers had played a part in the economic crash, the sector needed to be part of the solution.

He said developers were “not looking for preferential treatment or less regulation, but practical regulation” in order to get on with building houses.

“We have to move on. I’m saying that very strongly. We are not asking for special treatment.

“Unless we connect all the dots — local authorities, the department, and the industry, and what is needed and where it is needed — we are never going to solve this.

“We are trying to force the square peg into the round hole at the moment without paring the edges.

“We need to change that peg in order to make it work,” he said.

Mr O’Flynn said restrictions on the height of buildings, particularly in Dublin, should be examined in order to allow more building.

The developer added that Cork’s docklands was not a solution to the city’s housing needs because it was different than Dublin or London’s docklands, which had been developed with tax breaks.

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