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Mission and Objectives

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The DDPA  is a voluntary organisation and an alliance which represents over 72 neighbourhood associations across Dublin. We campaign for the needs of the citizen and the community in the growth of liveable neighbourhoods in Dublin. 


The housing crisis has resulted in many changes to policy but no sustainable solutions. Dublin has become hostile  to homebuyers and renters. The citizen has a right of participation  and the right to a liveable environment. The DDPA campaigns for a return to democratic procedures which are the legal norm across Europe. 



Local authority Development Plans are vital for a sustainable city. They are democratic and include the citizen in the process (Planning Act 2000). They are key for a successful city, sustainable and  coherent growth, appropriate levels of density and green space, infrastructure, affordability and long-term strategy. 


Dublin's development plan is no longer active. Local-level decision making is being over-ridden by Ministerial Guidelines. These guidelines are problematic and have not resulted in adequate housing. 

We want to see


We ask to stop the random, profit-driven, developer-led planning legislation. The trust of the citizen has been broken. These developments consistently override the city development plan and result in poor quality housing that will become a bad legacy for generations. 


The DDPA  supports  quality affordable housing through a variety of models:

  • new infil development at a scale that improves existing areas

  • converting existing vacant or under-utilised buildings

  • housing built by the State and approved housing bodies: social, cost-rental and affordable purchase

  • long-term and low-yield private investment 


Dublin needs to be liveable and affordable. We believe in the 15-minute city, with well distributed housing, climate friendly transport and amenities. We support appropriate development driven by social needs and empirical evidence. 

Current Problems.

Planning decisions for large housing developments are no loner decided by local authorities. Instead, consecutive ministerial guidelines dictate excessive height, density, and smaller apartments with little outdoor space. 

  • The DDPA has reviewed over 250 decisions made by An Bord Pleanála since 2017. Many of those developments will irreversibly damage their areas in social, spatial and visual terms. Dense, large-scale developments with multiple floor levels are very expensive to build and end up as overpriced rentals owned by foreign investors. 

  • Section 28: Mandatory Ministerial Guidelines (SPPRs) have been lobbied for by the construction industry. They reduce the size and quality of apartments. They take away restrictions on building height anywhere. They force over-scaled and unsuitable development. 


  • WRONG HOUSES: not enough flexible and family friendly housing; too many rent-only studio and one-bedroom units; High carbon construction ; smaller sizes of  'Build-to-Rent' apartments.  It is now more profitable for developers to build large scale rental schemes over owner occupied apartments. There are virtually no to-buy apartments buying built in Dublin as a result. 

  • WRONG PLACES: all large scale residential development densities and building heights are far over those permitted by established development plans. They overwhelm their localities. They often disregard the qualities of the existing urban fabric and infrastructure. 

  • WRONG PRICE:  expensive and  unaffordable for the ordinary citizen; poor value for money as social housing. 

  • LACK OF DEMOCRACY: large scale residential developmental are driven by rules that come from the Housing Misters. They promote the number of homes over their quality. Unlike with the Development Plans, the citizen has not been consulted. We remember the legacy of Ballymun where the longterm impact of large scale housing was clearly not considered. 

What it all means.

In practice, higher densities,  erosion of the citizens' rights and faster planning has denied affordable housing for a generation. Instead, the rules keep changing for developers' profit. Local needs, citizens needs and good urban design are disregarded. 

What we need...

  • restore the citizen's faith in the planning system by allowing local authorities to make decisions at a local level.

  • good urban design, promoting long term living in the city to all demographics. 

  • affordable housing that relates to its surroundings in height and density. 

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