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Wednesday 23 October 2019

'A poor deal' - mayor's anger at plan to give public land to private developer who could make €67m

Dublin City Councillor Paul McAuliffe
Dublin City Councillor Paul McAuliffe
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

The Lord Mayor of Dublin has hit out at the plan to hand over a swathe of public land at O'Devaney Gardens to a private developer, who could make upwards of €67m on the back of it, calling it a "poor deal" for the city.

Paul McAuliffe was heckled by a passer-by at a public event yesterday over the plan to give the public asset on the north side of Dublin to Bartra Capital to build 769 homes on - most of which will be sold for private profit.

"As I said to the lady there...we haven't voted on this yet," Mr McAuliffe said after it was branded a "disgrace" by the woman.

He admitted there were people who won't get a home due to the deal the council plans with Bartra, the firm also behind the controversial co-living facility planned for Dún Laoghaire.

"Let there be no mistake, we are getting a poor deal on O'Devaney Gardens, the difficulty is that we don't have the resources to build public housing the way we want to," the Fianna Fáil councillor and mayor said.

He tempered the criticism with the fact the plan was devised in the previous council term and the current council is trying to deal with it.

"We don't want to get into a situation where because we want better, that we end up delivering nothing.

"And that's a real difficulty because there are people who want these houses that are on the list.

"But equally there are many more out there who won't get them because we are getting a poor deal on the site," he said.

"It certainly doesn't match the ambitions we have in this council."

Among the criticisms levelled at the plan are that some of the 165 'affordable' homes at the site will cost up to €420,000, leaving them out of reach for the vast majority of people.

"What we should be going for is a cost plus a reasonable profit," he said.

Irish Independent

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