Bid for Airbnb lettings rejected

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AN BORD PLEANÁLA has delivered an emphatic “no” to property owners seeking planning permission to change the use of their properties to Airbnb in the city centre.

This follows the appeals board refusing planning permission to Friends First Life Assurance DAC for the temporary use of six apartments at 43-44 Clarendon Street, off Grafton Street for short-term letting.

Friends First had said there was a demand for short-term letting of the apartments as they were located in the heart of the city surrounded by hotels, cafes, restaurants and shopping streets.

However, the appeals board has refused planning permission stating that permission would be contrary to the City Development Plan which recognises residential units as a scarce resource that needed to be managed in a sustainable manner so that the housing needs of the city were met.

The appeals board also stated that the temporary loss of six apartment units would be contrary to the Dublin Housing Strategy which required that the planning and building of housing and residential space in the city contributed to sustainable and balanced development.

In its appeal, Friends First Life Assurance criticises failure to regularise under the planning code any system for landlords for Airbnb lettings.

Friends First told the appeals board that “it is compelled to make this appeal for reason of the apparent absence of any method to regularise, under planning statutes, a short tenure of rental for houses and apartments”.

The firm argued that putting the possibility of regularised short-term letting beyond the reach of all landlords defeats objectives to encourage short-term business or leisure visitors to Dublin.

unwanted precedent for similar development in the area

However, Senior Planning Inspector with the board, Jane Dennehy,recommended that the city council decision be upheld as the temporary loss of the six apartments in the rent pressure zone would exacerbate the existing shortage in supply and availability of residential accommodation in Dublin’s rental market

Ms Dennehy said that the proposed change of use is incompatible with the lack of available permanent residential accommodation, a reversal of which is essential.

The council refused planning permission earlier this year after its planner stated that planning permission would result “in an unwanted precedent for similar development in the area which may then result in the further unacceptable loss of long term residential rental properties in the locality.” The hearing was adjourned.

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