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NTA is looking for 'front garden negotiators' ahead of next phase of BusConnects

A number of areas of north and south Dublin have protested against the NTA’s plans.

Image: NTA

THE NTA IS seeking real estate experts as it presses ahead with plans to acquire private property for its ambitious BusConnects project. 

Under BusConnects, first announced in July 2018, the NTA plans to create 230km of dedicated bus lanes along the 16 busiest corridors in Dublin, as well as the complete redesign of the bus network along seven central “spines”.

Concerns, however, were raised after it emerged that some homeowners will lose a portion of their gardens and properties due to the plans. People in a number of areas of north and south Dublin have also protested against the NTA’s plans, with locals claiming it will destroy communities.

The NTA previously estimated that up to 1,500 properties could be acquired. 

It has since issued a tender for services which will involve negotiations around these property acquisitions.

Under the recent tender, service providers will be required to negotiate on behalf of the NTA, assist in arbitration and prepare valuations for property required for BusConnects. 

The provider will essentially be required to provide legal advice on behalf of the NTA and will also undertake tasks similar to real estate agencies like property-based research, property database administration and town planning.

TheJournal.ie previously reported that a number of TDs – including one government minister - had written to the NTA to express their own concerns over their ambitious plan.

In the case of Mary Mitchell O’Connor, she urged a “rethink” on how the new system would work in her local constituency.

The NTA has said the service provider will also be required to carry out negotiations on behalf of the NTA, inspect properties and review and assess compensation claims, essentially acting as a go-between for the NTA and property owners. 

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The NTA previously said that affected property owners are set to be fully compensated to the tune of €25,000 on average. 

Over 30,000 people have already had their say on the NTA’s network redesign side of BusConnects through submissions received in the first round of public consultation.

The NTA is set to announce a revamped network redesign next month following this earlier public consultation.

With reporting from Sean Murray.

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