Wednesday 16 October 2019

Murphy on attack over housing project in capital

‘Previously agreed’: The site at O’Devaney Gardens in north Dublin is in line to be redeveloped
‘Previously agreed’: The site at O’Devaney Gardens in north Dublin is in line to be redeveloped
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has said Dublin City Council risks its ability to deliver housing projects being called into question if it rejects a proposal to redevelop O'Devaney Gardens.

Last night, councillors were expected to vote on the controversial redevelopment of the north Dublin site, which would see 824 homes built.

This would include 192 social units and 165 affordable homes, with the cost of the latter at an average of €300,000 being called into question.

However, the vote was deferred to allow for further discussions on the matter, with a vote on the €7m deal expected next month.

Prior to the expected vote Mr Murphy warned if the council rejected the proposal, it would see funding from his department for the project lost.

Currently, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government will fund the full cost of the social housing in the development.

Mr Murphy also said failure to support the proposal would call into question the local authority's ability to deliver housing projects.

In correspondence with Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe, Mr Murphy said: "Should the proposal not now be supported by Dublin City Council, this will represent a significant blow for the citizens of Dublin, who are in need of new homes and will call into question the ability of Dublin City Council to deliver important housing projects."

Ahead of the planned vote, a number of parties expressed their intention to reject the proposal, with the numbers indicating a majority against the planned redevelopment.

The proposal would see 824 homes built, with more than half to be sold privately.

Developer Bartra Capital also planned to include 192 social units and 165 "affordable" units, while 56 have already been built separately and are ready to be occupied next year.

However, among the criticisms were the cost of some of the affordable homes, which came in at up to €320,000.

Bartra Capital was chosen as the preferred bidder and the council said it submitted the most "economically advantageous tender".

Irish Independent

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