A left-wing ideological campaign against the Land Development Agency (LDA) will kill off its potential to provided much needed homes, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Richard Bruton, Chair of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party and Dublin Bay North TD said: “The Land Development Agency can be the game changer which our housing crisis requires.
“For the first time, a state developer will contest the dominance of private developer-led housing. It will allow a powerful state agency to acquire and develop a mixed range of housing in a well-planned way.
“However the potential of this agency will be killed before its birth if left-wing controlled Councils insist that public land cannot be used for integrated housing which meets the needs of the entire community.
“Last week we saw Dublin City Council reject 853 badly needed homes on the Oscar Traynor Road site, which would have been split between Social, Cost Rental, Affordable Purchase and private homes. Contrary to reporting, only one quarter of the homes to be provided would have been private, and there was flexibility for that figure to be even less.
“Locally this decision ignores the urgent local needs for housing in all these categories. It also ignores the careful master planning to ensure all community needs were met. It is driven by narrow ideology that will result in nothing being built for years. This site has been awaiting development for my entire political career and has been a long-awaited beacon of hope to meet urgent needs.
“However, nationally, the implication is even worse. If the sites assembled by the LDA are to be for one type of housing only, it will fail to achieve the structural change we need in the market. It will also bring us back to segregated housing which has failed repeatedly.
“The proposed development of the site would provide 25% private homes, 25% cost rental homes, 30% social homes and 20% affordable homes as had been previously agreed by DCC. Mixed developments such as this is exactly what is needed to ensure cohesive communities. For too long DCC made the mistake of creating social only housing estates that simply did not work.”
Deputy Bruton continued: “A recent report by NESC further highlighted the need for the Land Development Agency to be given the tools necessary by government to ensure that mixed private, social and affordable housing sites are strategically developed across the country such as CPO powers, and access to modern methods of construction to deliver high quality sustainable homes quickly and at scale.
“It is not a sustainable situation when Dublin City Council work on a proposal for a project to deliver over 800 homes, having exhausted all avenues for it to be rejected by councillors with no immediate counter proposal being offered to develop the site as mixed use. The Land Development Agency has the potential to resolve some of the seemingly insurmountable issues facing councils across the country,” Richard Bruton TD concluded.