Dublin developer suggests reclaiming land from sea to solve housing crisis

Dublin developer suggests reclaiming land from sea to solve housing crisis

Property developer Harry Crosbie has suggested following a Dutch model to solve Dublin's housing crisis.

Mr Crosbie believes land could be reclaimed from the Irish sea off the coast of Dublin for low-cost housing, in particular, an area near Clontarf.

He said the idea came to him after he realised the extent of the housing crisis.

"I saw two young fellas asleep in a doorway and it really upset me. I went over and I didn't know what to do. People say the world is fair and it isn't fair," he told RTÉ Radio 1.

"I discovered that there are huge numbers of young people who can't buy a house. These are not people on the streets or underprivileged people.

There are no houses. In two or three or four years it's going to be hugely worse than it is now. We're building huge offices and there's nowhere for the people who work in these places to live. It's going to become an enormous crisis.

Mr Crisbie recommends building a polder off the coast, an area of land reclaimed from the sea as has been done extensively in the Netherlands, and building a mix of accommodation, offices and shops.

"There would be 250 acres in that roughly. Each would be worth €25m," he said. "This would create homes for 65,000 people."

Mr Crosbie said the plan would cost approximately €200m and would take 18 months to complete if experts from the Netherlands are brought in to oversee it.

He believes money made from selling the land could be used to pay the engineers, keeping the cost low.

He acknowledged the problems with the plan, including environmental problems as the area is a nature reserve.

"Of course there are problems, there are huge environmental issues with birds, etc. The Tolka runs through that."

He suggests rerouting the Tolka and preserving the fish population, but admits he does not know how to protect the birds in the area.

It's a nature reserve, you can fix the river, you can fix the fish. I don't know how to fix the bird thing.

Mr Crosbie said he would like to see a 'one home per person' rule which would ban landlords from buying homes to rent to the public.

"Landlords would not be allowed to buy 10 or 12 to let them out."

He said the plan would only work with the backing of the Government, but he believes the measure is inevitable.

"This is not harebrained, I am not mad and this could be made to work. Nothing is new, there has been land reclamation since the 17th century. Sometime, maybe not in my lifetime, this will happen."


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