No private developer can afford to build houses in Castlebar town, if Mayo County Council continues to insist on a density rate of 8 homes per acre. That’s the view of Castlebar Fine Gael councillor Cyril Burke.

The councillor raised his concerns about the shortage of new builds and the increasing prices to rent a home in the county town at the monthly meeting of Castlebar Municipal District yesterday.

He said there are houses now being rented in Breaffy at 1100 euro per month, and two bedroom apts in town costing tenants over 700 euro in monthly rent, and many people simply cant afford these prices.

It comes as new research from the Residential Tenancies Board shows there's been a 7 percent increase in rent nationally in the past year.

The shortage of available properties to rent in Castlebar is adding to the increasing rents, and he argued that it had been the norm to have a density rate of 10 to 12 houses per acre in high built up areas, in the past, but he said Mayo planners are now insisting on this reduced density that is pricing private developers out of the market.

Councillors agreed that there is concern over this new requirement and called for the County planner Mr John McMyler to attend the next meeting of the authority and explain what is happening.