Councillors vote to sell land to developer for €14m

Councillors vote to sell land to developer for €14m

CONTENTIOUS plans for the sale of council-owned land in Killinarden to a developer, for a proposed mixed-tenure development of 620 houses, were passed at Monday’s monthly council meeting.

The proposed development consists of 372 affordable houses, 125 social houses, and 123 private developer homes that will go on the market.

The majority of South Dublin County councillors voted in favour of the sale of the lands for €14m, while People Before Profit’s Madeleine Johannsen voted against, as did Independent councillor Eoin Ó Broin.

Four councillors abstained, namely Sinn Féin’s Louise Dunne, William Carey and Derren Ó Brádaigh, and An Rabharta Glas – Green Left’s Liam Sinclair.

As the vote was being held, a People Before Profit protest was taking place outside County Hall in Tallaght in opposition to the sale of the At one point, Mayor Peter Kavanagh apologised to the councillors at the meeting as his microphone kept picking up noise from the protest outside the council offices.

However, the plans were approved, which garnered a mixed reaction from local politicians.

People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy, who helped to organise the protest, told The Echo: “It was very disappointing that the council, once again, voted to sell off public land to a private developer.

“Three in five of the houses are to be affordable homes, but they won’t be affordable – people on average incomes won’t be able to afford them and they will be inaccessible to them.

“I’m disappointed with Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, the Greens, Labour and the Social Democrats for pushing through the same sort of pro-developer proposals that are pushed through at national level.”

Fine Gael councillor David McManus said he was “very happy” with the result of the vote, but that he had called for Deputy Murphy to resign his Dáil seat because he opposed the proposal.

An artist’s vision of what the new housing development will look like

When asked about concerns in relation to the cost of the affordable houses in the proposed development, Cllr McManus said: “The council’s director of housing, Colm Ward, gave us strong reassurances that the council had negotiated with the developer, Arden, that the affordable houses will be €250k.

“€250k is exactly where it should be – we’re very happy about it.”

Sinn Féin councillor Louise Dunne, whose electoral area includes the 16-acre Killinarden site, abstained from the vote on Monday.

“Our party’s policy is for 100 per cent social and affordable homes on public land,” said Cllr Dunne.

“Last year, when a proposal for this site was brought forward at the council, we voted against it, because there’s more than enough private land in the county.”

She added: “I don’t normally abstain, but it was a strategic move, because the proposal was a lot more positive this time – there were more social and affordable homes.

“We knew the proposal would go ahead, and we didn’t want to delay housing.”

While commencement of the development is subject to receiving full planning permission, South Dublin County Council will enter into a development agreement with the Arden Team DAC to deliver the houses.

Arden is expecting to begin the planning application process later this year and, if successful, on-site construction will begin next year, with a projected completion of the development in 2026.

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