The demand for office space drives city centre property prices up and poses challenges in providing houses for the people of Dublin.

Land in Dublin's Stephen's Green is some of the most valuable building land in Ireland. There is fierce competition for good sites with planning permission. This is pushing up the price of the land. The value of one prime site reached £40 per square foot. A building at the bottom of Grafton Street 1,100 square feet sold for £65,000.

Victorian buildings are being torn down to make way for high end flats or office blocks. The former residents move out to the suburbs and people from the small houses are inevitably driven out.

While business moves in, and the centre of town becomes a purely working centre in which fewer and few people live, unless they are caretakers or penthouse millionaires.

Dublin Corporation houses two in three of Dublin’s citizens and 33,000 of these live in Ballyfermot alone. The only alternative to urban sprawl is to build upwards.

The village of Lucan, eight miles from the city centre, is fast becoming a dormitory town for people who working Dublin. 

And not only for office workers, a time is coming when factory workers too must expect to travel this far and so land prices go further up.

Every new housing estate puts an additional burden on the sewage system.

Either it has to be expanded or we stop building new houses.

One of the main sewage outlets in Dublin is the treatment plant at Ringsend, built in 1905.

This episode of 'Work' was broadcast on 1 May 1969. The reporter is Brian Cleeve.