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  • Southside

Inchicore housing plan runs into controversy

Wednesday, 1st August, 2018 8:00am

Story by Neil Fetherstonhaugh
Inchicore housing plan runs into controversy

Eoghan Murphy, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, is pictured with the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Nial Ring, at the announcement that the Dublin City Council-owned site, at Emmet Road

Inchicore housing plan runs into controversy

Eoghan Murphy, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, is pictured with the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Nial Ring, at the announcement that the Dublin City Council-owned site, at Emmet Road

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AN AMBITIOUS housing scheme unveiled for Inchicore by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, has become embroiled in controversy.

Last week, the minister announced that the Dublin City Council-owned site, at Emmet Road, had been selected as the location of Dublin’s first major cost rental development.

It has been estimated that the site can accommodate over 470 brand new homes in a “high quality residential development”.

While the final tenure mix will be decided by the council, it is envisaged that the development will include 140 social housing homes, with the remaining 330 new homes predominantly provided under cost rental.

The Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan, welcomed plans for the council to lead out on the development. It is expected that a detailed proposal for the site will be brought before the council in September for approval.

At the launch last week, Minister Murphy hailed the concept of cost rental, a not for profit rental mechanism separate to social housing, which is new to Ireland.

“I signalled my intent early into my tenure as Housing Minister to do something for those most affected by the housing affordability gap that has emerged from the lost decade of little or no supply of new homes and rising demand as more people return to work, start families and so on,” he said.

“In that regard, low and moderate-income renters in Dublin and other cities in Ireland often face particular housing affordability challenges, and the Government is committed to addressing this supply gap as part of its package of affordability measures.

“Cost Rental could be a game-changer for the rental market, as it has been in many other cities we have looked at.”

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, who attended the launch said: "I welcome the proposal to develop the Emmet Road lands for mixed income housing and community facilities. The city council is acutely aware of the pressures in the city's residential property market and the need for new models of housing delivery for all its citizens.”

However, the plan has been slammed by local Fine Gael TD, Catherine Byrne, who said the housing development was “not good news for Inchicore”.

Speaking after the launch in Richmond Barracks, Deputy Byrne said: “I cannot support the plan as proposed as I believe that the size and scale of this project represents over-development of the site and brings little in terms of badly needed facilities and amenities to the neighbourhood, which are key to making this project a success.

"We are all acutely aware of the urgent need for more and better housing in our city, for those in need of social housing support, but also for those who wish to buy their own homes. Government, under its Rebuilding Ireland plan, is delivering new homes around the country and Inchicore has waited a long time to see the benefits of this strategy.

“However, I don't believe the former St Michael's site is an appropriate choice for such a large-scale development piloting the cost rental model.”

Deputy Byrne added: “I also listened carefully to the proposal put forward by St Patrick's Athletic in April of this year, which included a 12,000-seater stadium as well as shops and housing to the rear of the site. Their plan has potential but could also be seen as over-development.”

The local League of Ireland club had proposed to build a new 12,000-seater stadium and the bulk of 520 houses on the club’s current Richmond Road ground, but that plan will not now go ahead.

"Inchicore, the community where I have lived all my life, is a fantastic place to live,” Deputy Byrne added. “I know many people on modest incomes who want the chance to own their own home here, who see Inchicore as somewhere they can put down roots,” Deputy Byrne added. “They want to get involved in the community; to live here, to shop here, go to school here and socialise here. To make this a reality, we need better services and amenities on our doorstep.”

In response to what he called Minister Byrne’s “negative comments” on the regeneration plan, Lord Mayor Ring said: “Listening to the junior minister, I wonder does she want Inchicore to revert to its old use as a place for grazing sheep and from which it gets its anglicised name of Inchicore, ‘Inse Chór - Island of the Sheep’.”

 

Eoghan Murphy, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, is pictured with the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Nial Ring, at the announcement that the Dublin City Council-owned site, at Emmet Road

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