Wednesday 28 September 2016

Four new locations for modular homes are revealed in capital

Published 23/12/2015 | 02:30

The site for modular housing on Whitebarn Road in Rathfarnham, Dublin. Photo: Doug O’Connor
The site for modular housing on Whitebarn Road in Rathfarnham, Dublin. Photo: Doug O’Connor
George’s Place in Dún Laoghaire. Photo: Doug O’Connor

Dublin local authorities have identified four new sites for modular homes - including one close to the seafront in Dun Laoghaire.

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The new sites have been chosen as delays to building works means 22 families, who had been due to move into homes in Ballymun before Christmas, will not now be in place until February.

Two councils - Fingal and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown - have now identified locations for 110 units to be delivered next year.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has identified two sites - a former council depot at Georges Place in Dún Laoghaire, and at Whitebarn in Nutgrove, Dublin 14.

Some 50 units will be accommodated between both sites.

Fingal County Council has also identified two locations - 40 homes will be placed at Pinewood Green Court in Balbriggan, and 20 at Wellview Green in Mulhuddart.

Priority

South Dublin County Council and Dublin City Council have not yet identified sites.

The city council said its priority was to provide 153 homes on the five sites already identified.

It has also emerged that Dublin City Council plans to erect 29 pre-fabricated homes on a site in Drimnagh bought in 2007 for €3.5m, but which included restrictions on its use.

The Mercy Sisters sold the site on the basis it could only be used for social housing for the elderly, disabled and people with mental disabilities.

However, the council says that it believes the covenant also covers social housing for the homeless. Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show that the Mourne Road site was considered among "the most suitable" by officials.

It was originally believed that up to 36 units could be accommodated there.

But concerns were raised in an email to the council in late October by a local resident, who noted that the Drimnagh lands were purchased subject to a covenant. The council said that the site was acquired for social housing but the project did not proceed due to the downturn.

"The council has applied for a variation of the covenant to use the site for general social housing purposes," it said.

Suitable

And it later insisted that the proposed social housing was "deemed suitable for the purposes set out in the covenant".

In a statement yesterday, the council said it was engaged in "ongoing discussions" with the Sisters of Mercy to "provide homes on a site owned by Dublin City Council for families who are currently residing in hotel accommodation".

The documents also reveal that council planners considered at least 19 sites before settling on five - Poppintree in Ballymun, where 22 homes are proposed; Belcamp Site H on Belcamp Avenue (38 homes); St Helena's Drive in Finglas (40); Mourne Road in Drimnagh (29); and Cherry Orchard in Ballyfermot (24).

The Government announced plans last September to acquire 500 modular homes to accommodate homeless families, which will be in place for up to 50 years.

In total, it is planned that Dublin City Council will accommodate 245 units, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown another 50, Fingal County Council 100 and 105 will be erected in South Dublin County Council.

Some 22 units in Ballymun were due to be in place this Christmas.

The second phase involves procuring 128 units for delivery early in 2015, and some sites have been identified.

The third phase involves delivery of 350 units.

The costs will be met by the Department of the Environment.

Almost 20 sites rejected for modular homes before five picked

Dublin City Council examined almost 20 sites for modular homes before settling on five sites capable of accommodating 153 units.

Sites rejected included ones on Bridgefoot Street, Collins Avenue and Infirmary Road, and one on Fishamble Street earmarked for sale to a private housing co-op.

Among the reasons why sites were rejected include issues with zoning, location of utilities including gas mains, difficulties with ownership and a perceived reluctance of councillors to approve the use of land already in use as community gardens or allotments.

There was also a concern that local politicians would refuse to allow modular homes on sites expected to be developed with traditional housing. Some sites were not suitable due to the large amount of work they would require.

The sites rejected include convent lands and St Mary's Mansions, both on Sean McDermott Street; Orchard Road in Ballybough; Coruba House on St Agnes Road in Crumlin; the Crumlin Convent site on Knocknarea Road in Drimnagh; Rathmines Avenue flats; Gloucester Place in Dublin 1; three sites in Finglas at Casement Road, Casement Drive and Fairlawn Road; sites in Darndale; ABC Hall in Bluebell; Chamber/Weaver Court, adjacent to Cork Street; Braithwaite Street in Pimlico; Berryfield and Barnamore Grove in Finglas and a site on Pigeon House Road.

Irish Independent

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