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  • Northside East

Urgency demanded on Northside housing plan 

Wednesday, 9th January, 2019 8:00am
Urgency demanded on Northside housing plan 

Pictured are some of the residents who took part in the ‘Local Rally for New Homes’ last year.

Urgency demanded on Northside housing plan 

Pictured are some of the residents who took part in the ‘Local Rally for New Homes’ last year.

NORTHSIDE residents are urging Dublin City Council to act swiftly on a major housing plan for their area.

However, the city council insists that a developer will be selected for the Oscar Traynor Road project in the “early months of 2019”. 

‘Unite Behind the Locals’, an amalgamation of local residents’ groups, said the 17-hectare site, spanning from Santry to Coolock, and known locally as the Lawrence Lands, has been a “wasteland” for 40 years.

It said 640 homes remain unbuilt on unused public owned land four years after the go-ahead was given to start construction.

It said this was their fourth Christmas in a row waiting for work to begin on the site, located next to the M1 and Dublin Port Tunnel, and hit out at the delay that is affecting numerous homeless families waiting to be housed.

Brendan Dalton, who lives in Lorcan Estate, Santry, near the proposed site, said: “Since 2014/15, local communities and their councillors banded together to support a large development there of some 640 homes.

“It was vacant for nearly 40 years as wasteland and residents were delighted to learn that it was finally being developed after many plans for the land were shelved over several decades.

“We are fed up and very concerned with the illegal dumping, anti-social issues, lethal use of scramblers and malicious fires set every summer endangering nearby houses.

“However, here we are in 2019 amid a major housing crisis with not a sod turned or a brick laid despite the urgent need for homes.”

In 2016, ‘United Behind the Locals’ gathered nearly 5,000 signatures from locals to support a speedy development of the site with plans to build mixed social and starter homes, apartments, a community park and a school.

Mr Dalton said they prepared detailed submissions to council officials “so planning would go smoothly.”

He said that on January 9, 2017, councillors backed them with a unanimous decision to create a consultative forum for local residents and politicians to work directly with a chosen developer on a masterplan for the site, but building works have yet to begin.

Hundreds of residents also took part in a rally recently to show solidarity with those awaiting homes that have yet to be built on this and other stretches of unused public land.

“We did everything we could to try help make this happen, but we are still waiting for something, anything to bring this forward,” added Mr Dalton.

“Plans to build homes on this site are moving at a snail’s pace and no one knows why.”

‘Unite Behind the Locals’ said it has requested several meetings with Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to brief him on their campaign regarding the site and to ask him to do what he can to start construction.

In a statement to Northside People, a spokesperson for Dublin City Council said the Oscar Traynor Housing Project (Housing Land Initiative) is not stalled. 

“The three original schemes  - O’Devaney Gardens, Oscar Traynor Road and St Michael's Estate - were approved by the Elected Members of the City Council in January 2017,” the spokesperson said.

“It was always intended the process for the Procurement of a Developer would be in the order:

1. O Devaney Gardens

2. Oscar Traynor Road

3. St Michael's Estate

“The Procurement process for these developments is complex and onerous but we are satisfied that very good progress has been made on the first two projects and the first stage of the Oscar Traynor process has been completed (shortlisting of tenders).”

The spokesperson added: “It is anticipated that a successful developer will be selected for the Oscar Traynor Road project in the early months of 2019 which will be followed by a planning application to An Bord Pleanala with full consultation with the local Project Consultative Forum.” 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here