Vote on proposed redevelopment of O'Devaney Garden site deferred

Vote on proposed redevelopment of O'Devaney Garden site deferred
Work at the O’Devaney Gardens site last year. Pic: Collins.

Update: A Dublin City Council vote on the proposed redevelopment of the O'Devaney Garden flat complex this evening has been deferred.

The proposals looked set to be blocked by councillors unless the house prices in the new estate were reduced.

Previously it had been suggested the affordable homes would cost up to €420,000.

Other local representatives called for the new estate of more than 800 homes to be kept in public ownership.

Labour Councillor for the area Alison Gilliland says a compromise is needed to give the project the green light.

"The key ask is that the Minister [Eoghan Murphy] would see a way to buy 20% of the 50% private to use for affordable rental," said Ms Gilliland.

"Not cost rental that he talks about, but affordable rental.

"We'll see what the minister can deliver for us.

"He knows where our sticking points are and we're very open to negotiating with him because we do want to see this development go ahead."

Earlier: Councillors call for O'Devaney Gardens site to be kept as public land for public housing

Handing over Dublin City Council land to private developers is just repeating mistakes of the past, according to a councillor.

The council will vote tonight on whether to allow the redevelopment of the O'Devaney Gardens site on the North Circular Road.

More than 800 homes are planned, with half of them to be sold privately, while the rest will be social and affordable.

Gary Gannon from the Social Democrats said it is not the right way to go.

Mr Gannon said: "The vast majority of people are going to be locked out of this development. We are not going to solve this crisis by repeating the mistakes of the past.

"All the expert testimony, including the ones presented to Paschal's own government, suggests that building on public land publicly-owned affordable housing is the only way to solve this crisis and yet Fine Gael continue to want to transfer wealth into the hands of private entities."

Workers' Party representative Éilis Ryan has called for a Dublinwide plebiscite on the use and ownership of public lands.

Ms Ryan said: "Tonight, five years after the council originally proposed to privatise 70% of Dublin city's major landbanks, a vote will finally take place on whether to dispose of O'Devaney Gardens into the hands of a private developer. That five-year delay speaks volumes.

Private, for-profit development of our public lands is not only totally unjust - it is inefficient, costly and time consuming.

"That is why I am calling for a plebiscite to be held across Dublin on the issue of whether we should sell or lease our public lands to private developers, prior to any further votes on land sales."

In 2016, Ryan put a proposal before Dublin City Council for 100% public, cost-rental housing - "The Vienna Model" - on the site.

Sinn Féin, Labour, the Green Party, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Social Democrats voted to overturn that plan in September 2016, following significant pressure from council officials and Ministers.

Ryan said: "The plebiscites held in Cork, Limerick and Waterford on the issue of directly-elected Mayors show the possibility of direct democracy in guiding major public decision-making at a local level. Obviously, local referendums are not binding; however they can serve to make clear to our local and national representatives the opinion and preference of a city's citizens.

"No issue warrants public consultation more than how our public land should be used during a housing crisis. Giving O'Devaney Gardens over to Bartra means losing forever an asset which, if kept in public ownership, could provide housing as a human right to generations into the future."

I am calling for councillors to oppose tonight's proposal that O'Devaney Gardens be given to Bartra for development.

"A plebiscite should then be organised across the four Dublin local authorities, putting the question to the people; "Do Dubliners support or oppose selling/leasing/giving public land to private, for-profit interests? I believe the answer will be clear."

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