Tuesday 6 December 2016

Alan Kelly prepares to bring in emergency legislation to speed up planning for modular housing units in Dublin

Daniel McConnell Group Political Correspondent

Published 04/10/2015 | 13:13

Alan Kelly, Minister for the Environment
Alan Kelly, Minister for the Environment

Environment Minister Alan Kelly is preparing to bring in emergency legislation to speed up planning for modular housing units in Dublin, should he deem it necessary.

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Speaking today, Mr Kelly said everything was being done to help people who need emergency accommodation, but if it was required he would fast track legislation to deliver the modular units.

There is agreement to provide a total of 500 units over time, with 150 units to be made available in the short term.

He said he aims to have "a certain amount" of modular units before Christmas.

Mr Kelly also said he knows of at least one other site which is experiencing similar issues to those at Longboat Quay. He said the other site he knew of is in an estate in Kildare.

He said Longboat Quay is a failure of regulation and that a package is being worked on with residents.

He said the Dublin Docklands has its own structures and did not to say anything on it. Mr Kelly said he expected other sites to follow because of past regulations.

Mr Kelly, speaking on RTE’s The Week in Politics, said there is a programme of regulation in place and he expects there will be other locations that will have issues. He said there is an estate in Kildare that has issues.

But on the issue of emergency housing, Mr Kelly said it is his intention to ensure there is enough emergency accommodation before Christmas.

The Government is looking at purchasing and leasing more emergency units, he said.  He said that from a planning point of view he would look at bringing in emergency legislation, if necessary, to providing housing units, including modular houses.

He said there was a need for consistency of thought across housing agencies.

Speaking on the same programme, Deputy MacLochlainn said there was Government failure on the issue of homelessness. He said his party will scrap the property tax and has costed its removal.

Independent TD, Clare Daly described the situation involving apartments at Longboat Quay as a disgrace and said new regulations introduced do not avoid problems when constructing units.

She said she was concerned there was going to be fatalities due to fire hazards.

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