City misses building boom

THE Irish building boom is bypassing Limerick city, latest figures show.

Last year, there were less than 400 new homes completed in the city, a drop of almost 60% on 2005.

But the boom continued apace in Co Limerick, which covers much of the city suburbs with 2,624 new houses — a 20% increase on the previous year.

The Construction Industry Federation claimed the decline in new homes built within the city emphasised the need for a boundary extension.

There were 961 new houses built in the city in 2005 and that plummeted to 389 in 2006.

Conor O’Connell, executive officer with the FIF, said the present boundary situation in Limerick was the main reason for the fall-off in house completions in the city.

He said, “The overriding factor is that Limerick’s boundary does not reflect the city. There is a lack of available serviced and zoned land. In recent years, there has been a lot of construction and there isn’t much land left to develop. The fact that completions in the county have increased show there is still a big demand for housing in the greater Limerick area.”

Former Mayor of Limerick Cllr Diarmuid Scully said the big drop in housing within the city boundary showed the need for a city boundary review.

“Nationally, about 20% of housing is social housing but in Limerick city it is about 40%. All the private developments are at the edge of the city,” he added.

“Having that kind of geographical and social division is not good and we need to have one local authority making decisions for the greater metropolitan area,” he added.

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