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Over 850 homes can be delivered ‘within 4-year timeframe’ on controversial Coolock site

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Dublin's Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland has called for changes to speed up council housing delivery

Dublin's Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland has called for changes to speed up council housing delivery

Green Party councillor Caroline Conroy said it is 'unacceptable' that the Coolock site remains undeveloped

Green Party councillor Caroline Conroy said it is 'unacceptable' that the Coolock site remains undeveloped

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Dublin's Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland has called for changes to speed up council housing delivery

A developer has claimed a revised plan to build more than 850 homes on publicly-owned land in Coolock can be delivered within a four-year period.

One year after Dublin city councillors overwhelmingly rejected Glenveagh’s plans for the Oscar Traynor Road site, a fresh vote on the latest proposal had been expected to take place this week.

Following a request by Green Party councillors, who are seeking clarification on a number of issues, a decision was deferred until later this month.

Under the plan rejected last year, 50pc of the homes would have been sold privately. An alternative plan put forward by councillors proposed the entire scheme be developed by Dublin City Council, with 80pc used for social/cost rental and 20pc designated for affordable housing.

However, a Dublin City Council report warned this approach would result in delays of at least five years before work could even begin on a project of such magnitude.

In a letter to Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland and Dublin City Council’s assistant chief executive, Richard Shakespeare, Glenveagh Properties said it was “increasingly concerned” about “misconceptions” that have emerged.

“When councillors rejected the proposal last year, we responded to concerns and agreed to a revised plan that would see all 853 homes used for State-supported housing, across social, affordable and cost rental schemes,” chief executive Stephen Garvey said.

“As one of Ireland's leading home builders, we are best placed to navigate the complexities of bringing a site of this scale to completion.

“We are committed to delivering all 853 homes within four years from commencing construction and ensuring families get the keys to their new homes as quickly as possible. We share your vision of creating a strong and cohesive community within the Oscar Traynor Road site.”

Mr Gravey said if the proposal was accepted, it was the company’s intention to commence construction in late 2022, subject to a successful planning application.

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He revealed that Glenveagh's tender masterplan for the site includes a large public park and a landmark neighbourhood centre. He confirmed the application would not exceed the heights and densities in the design accepted as part of their tender submission.

He added that Glenveagh was committed to a tenure mix of 40pc social housing, 40pc cost rental and 20pc affordable purchase.

Dublin City Council’s Green Party members said while they were “positively disposed” to the revised proposal which “improved dramatically” on the original tenure mix, “key questions” remained.

The party wants clarity on where the €14m proceeds from the sale of the site will go and are looking for certainty that the land will return to Dublin City Council should the agreed plan not be implemented.

Councillor Caroline Conroy (GP) said the area “desperately needs housing” and it was “simply unacceptable” that this site had remained undeveloped for so long.

“We have won a good deal on the tenure mix for this site,” she said. “Now we just need to make sure the details of the proposal are fully in order.”

Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland added that she wants to see “public housing delivered on this site in a timely a manner as possible”.

“I’m blue in the face highlighting to the Department of Housing that their social housing approval process and the public procurement procedures are slowing down local Council housing delivery.

“The ideal is local authority lead public housing on public lands and I will continue to advocate for the changes at central government level to realise that. In the meantime, the Glenveagh option will get cranes in the sky more quickly.”

Cllr Patricia Roe (SD) called on Dublin City Council to go back to the cross-party plan for a direct build of the site “that keeps costs down and delivers truly affordable housing”.

“The proposed developer-led plan is unaffordable and poor value for taxpayers,” she said.


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