Work set to resume on Cherry Orchard social housing

By Aideen O'Flaherty

BUILDING work is set to resume on the Cherry Orchard site earmarked for 72 social housing units, after they had to cease work in December following an arson attack on a JCB operator at the site.

Planning permission was first granted for the site to a housing cooperative in 2008, but the economic downturn meant these plans were stalled for several years.

Developer impression of finished site

Since then a local community group called the Stone Soup Project set up and maintained a community garden on the site as it was attracting anti-social behaviour.

The building work is a divisive issue in the community, which in early December saw a group of protesters trying to prevent building work on the site being faced with counterprotestors chanting "Let them build".

A spokeswoman for NABCO, the housing cooperative who will be carrying out the work, told The Echo that there will be security on site when building work resumes, and when asked about the community garden she said: "Some aspect of it would be removed, but they will try to preserve it."

Daithi Doolan, Sinn Fein councillor for Ballyfermot, welcomed the plans to resume work on the site, saying: "The attack that happened before Christmas was wrong and unacceptable.

"People should be able to go to work without risk to their health and safety.

"These houses are badly needed in an area where we have a long housing list.

"This is also an opportunity to put other amenities in Cherry Orchard."

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