Wicklow Housing Demand Driven By Dublin ‘Doughnut’ Development


Wicklow TD Jennifer Whitmore has pointed to the development model of Dublin City as a contributing factor to increase demand in housing in across Wicklow county. Recently released CSO figures highlight an increase in demand for homes in counties such as Wicklow, fuelled in part by lack of homes in Dublin city and suburbs. This week in the Dáil the Social Democrats used their private members time to bring forward a motion on home ownership, in light of dwindling ownership rates for younger generations.

Speaking about the impact of this, Social Democrat TD Whitmore said:

“Demand for housing in Wicklow has risen in recent years, reflecting the national trend. A major contributing factor to this is that people who rent in Dublin, many of them from the capital themselves, cannot afford to buy there, so have to look to other counties such as Wicklow, Meath and Kildare, if they want to try and own their own home.

“Government are overseeing a ‘doughnut’ style of  housing development by hollowing out the city centre of any affordability and therefore pushing everyone out to the surrounding areas which is leading to increase household prices in Wicklow.

The use of the build-to-rent model is also driving people to Wicklow, many of whom want to own their own homes, even if it means having to leave their communities.

Jennifer Whitmore Purple

“In 2022, for example, 82% of planning applications in Dublin city were for build-to-rent, up from 15% in 2018. None of those homes will be available to buy. This strategy is contributing to the robbing a generation of the opportunity of home ownership.”

“As a result we have to keep on repeatedly building schools to meet ever increasing demand, people cannot get on GP lists to meet demand locally, and there is a dearth of facilities. It is also contributes to additional demands being placed on services in Wicklow such as schools, GPs, transport and public amenities.

“As my colleague Catherine Murphy rightly pointed out in the Dáil this week tenure type matters. It is the determining factor in who lives in an area and what kind of services are needed. The knock on affect in Wicklow is obvious, as since getting into politics I have seen the demand for school places across the county jump year on year.

“We are developing our east coast as a doughnut. We are building an American car-dependent capital, which is completely lacking in affordability and that is having a ripple effect on surrounding counties like ours.  And worse still, we are doing so based on Government policy.”

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