Sunday 19 November 2017

Revealed: Some of the biggest sites offered by the state to build 50,000 new homes

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

This morning it was revealed that 800 sites owned by local authorities and public bodies will be offered to the private market to help boost housing supply.

Here is a breakdown what we know so far:

What is happening?

Land banks totalling 2,000 hectares and controlled by city and county councils and other bodies including CIÉ, the IDA and HSE, are to be offered to private developers and housing associations in an effort to resolve the housing crisis and provide at least 50,000 new homes.

Four sites in Dublin alone are capable of providing 3,000 homes, including at least 1,000 social units.

Expressions of interest from developers will be sought over the coming days.

The Department of Housing has also identified 30 sites owned by public bodies in the main cities of Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick and Waterford totalling around 200 hectares, another 73 controlled by the Housing Agency of 250 hectares and a massive 1,500 hectare land bank comprising 700 sites controlled by city and county councils.

Where are the sites in Dublin?

Four sites in Dublin that are currently controlled by local authorities have been identified or are about to be offered.

Lands Kilcarbery in south Dublin, near Clondalkin, totalling 29.5 hectares, capable of providing 892 units of which 30pc will be social.

Dublin City Council will also offer three sites on Infirmary Road in Dublin 7 (capable of providing at least 585 units); Oscar Traynor Road, Dublin 9 (minimum of 640 homes) and Emmet Road in Dublin 8 (minimum capacity of 420 homes).

Another site on the Enniskerry Road, in Sandyford, controlled by the Housing Agency, is 2.8 hectares and will be used to provide social houses and affordable rental units.

There are also two sites in the capital that are controlled by public bodies earmarked for the new plan.

More than two hectares at Dublin's Connolly Station in the north inner city and 11 hectares in the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum will be used.

Where are the sites outside of the capital?

Approximately 18 hectares of land in Galway harbour will be used for the scheme while a further 56 hectares in the Port of Cork, Tivoli will be used to provide housing in the cities.

Ceann Station in Galway will also provide lands.

This morning's Irish Independent is also reporting that 5.6ha in Naas Devoy Barracks will be used while just over three hectares on the Portlaoise Road in Mountrath, Co Laois will also be included.

Meanwhile 15ha in Ballindoe, Co Sligo will also come under the plan.

How will it happen? has learned that developers will be invited to build homes under a licensing arrangement where land could be sold, provided for free, subject to a long-term lease or arrangement where the land cost is repaid after units are sold.

Sources said the State would have to achieve a return for offering the lands, such as provision of new social homes.

Appraisals of each site will be completed prior to the lands being offered, to set out the maximum number of units possible.

Sources said it provided an "opportunity" to boost housing supply on lands located in areas of high demand.

"There could be a disruptive element as well," one said.

"These developments could also force other developers to get building. This shows the opportunities. Councils will be asked if there's a plan for their sites, and if not, why not?

"These lands were bought for housing and we want to see them developed. The (housing) minister is putting it up to local authorities and other public bodies to deliver homes on State lands. This is gigantic in scale, and a once in 100 years opportunity to get it right."

What role will local authorities play?

Local authorities will be free to dictate the number of homes for each site, and mix of tenure types. They could also set upper price limits for starter homes or other units, and oblige developers to provide affordable rental, private rental or housing for the elderly.

Developments on local authority lands will also benefit from a fast-track planning process.

When will we know more?

The full details will be revealed by Housing Minister Simon Coveney today at the launch of a new Housing Land Map, which sets out residentially owned lands and those in control of public bodies, which is suitable for housing this afternoon.

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