Wednesday 7 December 2016

I hate to say it, but we really need to get developers back building houses again

Published 22/05/2014 | 02:30

What we obviously don’t need is Anglo-style development. AP
What we obviously don’t need is Anglo-style development. AP

DEEP breath. I never imagined the sentence that's about to follow would ever form in my brain, let along make it into print – but here goes. Bring back the developers.

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Not the flamboyant, social diary fixtures from before. No need to apply if you were one of the speculative types prone to throwing up developments in Ballygonowhere on a "build it and they will come" wing and a prayer.

But developers are best placed to deliver long-term solutions to the current homeless crisis. Preferably developers sitting on green-field sites suitable for social housing projects. This may not be a popular proposal as developers who left a trail of debts emerge from speedy UK bankruptcies, ready to start over. Or as others such as Sean Dunne are accused of a lack of co-operation when their finances are scrutinised: a US bankruptcy official says Mr Dunne tried to send him on "a wild goose chase" and claims he has been involved in a "cloak and dagger" game spanning three continents. The official also wants to question Gayle Killilea about assets and cash transferred to her by her husband.

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