‘Serious concerns’ over LDA delivering affordable housing
By Maurice Garvey
POTENTIAL for 900 new residential units in Park West beside the train station, was among the proposals on display during a recent online presentation to local councillors.
The Land Development Agency (LDA) were brought in by Dublin City Council to look at the possibility of developing a couple of sites within the Cherry Orchard/Park West Local Area Plan (LAP).
The Land Development Agency presentation for Cherry Orchard
Although it has potential to deliver between 2,000 to 3,000 homes, the overall LAP suffered a major setback in March, when an application for €30m in funding under the URDF, was rejected by the Department of Housing, as city centre projects were prioritized to recover from Covid-19.
While the city council are keen to continue with potential developments in the LAP, to date, the only site where work has taken place within the LAP is at the new housing estate in Elmdale.
An online update for local representatives on March 25, also highlighted a Part 8 plan for some 120 affordable housing units in Elmdale. Talks are currently ongoing between the city council and Cherry Orchard Football Club regarding the land in question for this development.
An LDA presentation at the update, included details of plans to deliver 900 residential units on two sites beside Park West train station “in keeping with the LAP objectives for these two sites”.
Established in 2018 as a State agency to build 150,000 new homes over the next 20 years as part of Project Ireland 2040, the LDA has come in for plenty of criticism from opposition politicians who fear it “undermines democracy” and will lead to a loss of public land to the private market.
The LDA Bill, which has yet to pass in the Dáil, contains a number of clauses which would divest councillors of their veto on land transfers, to prevent members delaying housing developments.
A screenshot of the LDA presentation in Cherry Orchard
Cllr Daithí Doolan (SF) has “serious concerns” about the LDA delivering affordable housing in the area.
“While I fully understand the LAP must deliver homes, I have serious concerns about the LDA being able to deliver real affordable housing for residents. I have continued to argue that Dublin City Council should be the lead developer when it comes to building homes and services on public land.
“The LDA were unable to tell me what affordable to rent or to buy would be in Cherry Orchard. This is totally unacceptable. We need homes that meet the needs of local residents. That means they must be good quality and at a cost residents can afford. The LDA fails that test.”
Meanwhile, the update on March 25 also featured plans for a multi-purpose sports park beside St Ultans, and separate plans by developer Greenseed for 700 apartments on sites they own within the LAP.
Greenseed have held Strategic Housing Development discussions with An Bord Pleanála for the proposal.
Cllr Doolan, a member of the city council’s Housing Committee, said: “Cherry Orchard has been ignored for too long by too many governments. The LAP is about building a better future for all the residents. It must deliver services, shops, sports facilities, schools and homes. It has the potential to transform the whole community and lay the foundation for generations to come. But it must have the residents and local services at the centre of it. That means the community must be kept up to date, consulted with and on all the decision making structures.
“I am delighted to see progress being made on some of the sites. Particularly on the multi-purpose sports park by St Ultans. This will be of huge benefit to local football teams and the Cherry Orchard Running Club.”
Dublin City Council and the LDA are to engage a full design team to progress to planning application stage and will develop a “comprehensive” public consultation plan.
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