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Sunday Times newspaper 01.11.2015. Reproduced here with kind permission of The Sunday Times.


When it comes to the topic of apartment sizes, planners and local authorities should keep this old adage to the forefront of their minds: less is not more. Ireland’s size standards for residential housing have tended to followBritain’s since about the 1940s. The UK has been producing ever-smaller units and with, in effect, no minimum national standard, it has the smallest homes in western Europe. This is not a trend we need to follow. Minimum space standards for a one-bedroomapartment in Dublin reduced from 484 sq ft in 1961 to 344 sq ft in 1987—and finally up to a more habitable 592 sq ft in 2011. The damage had been done, with undersized units already having been built, but better late than never.