Business Property & Mortgages

Saturday 22 September 2018

New agency aims to cut development costs through sale of State-owned land

The agency will have a massive €1.25bn war chest to buy State land and vacant sites. Stock photo: PA
The agency will have a massive €1.25bn war chest to buy State land and vacant sites. Stock photo: PA
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

The Government's new land agency will seek to drive down the cost of development by buying up State-owned land and selling it on at competitive prices.

The National Land Development Agency (NLDA) has identified State land which could be utilised to build 20,000 homes in Dublin and along the commuter belt.

They hope that by putting more land into the market it will drive down prices.

A memo on the new agency will be brought before Cabinet today by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

The NLDA will have sweeping compulsory purchase order powers to buy up private land and property.

However, the agency's main focus is buying State-owned land from Government departments and agencies which will be 'master planned' for development. This will involve ensuring road infrastructure, public transport and amenities are in place for new housing estates. The developments will be a mix of private, affordable and social housing.

Sites owned by the Office of Public Works, the Department of Transport and Department of Defence have all been earmarked for development.

A Government source said State sites near city centre transport hubs such as ports, bus depots and train stations are being examined by the new agency.

The super quango has already agreed a deal with the Housing Agency to develop three yet-to-be-revealed areas in Dublin and Kildare. The land will be bought from departments and other State agencies at market value before being developed or sold on to developers.

It is hoped the massive State-owned land portfolio will ensure the country is prepared for future property crashes or another housing crisis.

The agency will have a massive €1.25bn war chest to buy State land and vacant sites.

Irish Independent

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