Finance Minister Brian Lenihan could hardly have picked a more apt day to discuss the “shuddering end” of the building boom.

On Friday last, while addressing a European conference on construction, Minister Lenihan suggested that the sector which has spearheaded Irish economic growth this past decade is firmly decelerating.

Just hours earlier, a Central Statistics Office (CSO) report showed that granted planning permissions in the first quarter were 9.5 per cent down on the same period in 2007.

Nationally, there were 18,582 dwelling units approved which compared to 20,538 for the first quarter of the previous year.

In Waterford city, a total of 75 approved planning permissions were granted between January and March, which broke down as follows:

Dwellings: 11

Other: 27

Extension: 29

Alteration and conversion: 8


The county figures (230 permissions granted) for the first quarter of the year read:


Dwellings: 111

Other: 25

Extension: 86

Alteration and conversion: 8


Wexford’s extension into the Dublin commuter belt appears to be further underlined by these CSO figures, with 270 new houses being approved for construction in the county.

Total green-lit planning in the model county came to 517, over a third of all approved building projects across the south east.


The total planning approvals for the other three south east counties were:

Kilkenny: 266

South Tipperary: 234

Carlow: 163


A considerable decline in national planning permissions for new agricultural buildings was also recorded by the CSO in the first quarter of the year (772), a drop of 2,934 on the 2007 Q1 tally.