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Criticism of Council vote in favour of approving Oscar Traynor development in north Dublin

The 850-home development was rejected by councillors before, but has been approved after the proportion of social homes increased.

Architect's impression of the Oscar Traynor Road redevelopment.
Architect's impression of the Oscar Traynor Road redevelopment.
Image: Glenveagh Properties

DUBLIN CITY COUNCILLORS have voted in favour of the Oscar Traynor Road housing development, located in Coolock, prompting criticism from some politicians.

A total of 853 homes were proposed for the site, consisting of 40% social (341 homes), 40% cost rental (341) and 20% affordable-purchase homes (171).

Last year, the development was rejected with a breakdown of 50% of the homes private (428), 30% social (253) and 20% affordable-purchase (172).

The site is located off Coolock Lane in Dublin 5 and is situated around 5.5km to the north of Dublin City Centre and around 3.5km to the south of Dublin Airport.

After a procurement process, the Council selected Glenveagh Living as the preferred bidder. Its proposal involved the construction of 853 residential units together with associated infrastructural works, commercial units and open spaces.

To reach the planning stage, a proposal requires a Section 183 approval from councillors. After councillors rejected it last year, with 48 against and 14 in favour, it was referred to a working group from the Housing Strategic Committee (SPC), with a view to formulating an alternative plan for the site.

A key element of this new proposal was for the site to be developed directly by Dublin City Council or in partnership with an Approved Housing Body with an alternative tenure mix: 40% social housing, and 40% cost/affordable rental.

This proposal was then submitted for consideration to the Department of Housing, Heritage and Local Government.

The Department requested detailed economic and financial appraisals for the proposal, consistent with the National Public Spending Code. This entails Design Feasibility, Suitability Assessment Report (SAR) and a Preliminary Business Plan to meet Department requirements in order to secure necessary approvals.

In addition, the Government has recently increased the level of subvention for affordable homes from 50,000 to up to 100,000 in urban areas of the country.

But there has been some criticism of the councillor’s decision to approve the plan, despite the changes made to the development.

Cllr Tina MacVeigh of People-Before-Profit said: “Having turned the tide on the sale of public land to private developers last year, I am disgusted to report that 35 Dublin City councillors just voted to over turn last years decision and Oscar Traynor is to be sold to private developers.”

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin said that last night’s vote was “disappointing but not surprising”.

FF/FG/GP/LP have gifted public land to a developer in exchange for unaffordable homes. Glenveagh will charge up to €338k for a 1 bed, up to €406k for a 3 bed & €1,500 pm for a 2 bed.

He said that the the meaning of ‘affordable’ had been stretched “so far to be effectively meaningless”, and accused politicians of being too close to developers.

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Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alison Gilliland said: “While it would be the preference of the majority that Dublin City Council lead the design, planning and development going back to beginning and starting again when we are at this stage would lose valuable time in a housing crisis – too many individuals and families are waiting too long on our social housing waiting lists, too many young people are living with their parents as they can’t afford to buy a home and too many are struggling with high market rents.”

It is anticipated that a planning application for the Oscar Traynor Road development could be lodged in Q2 2022 and granted in Q4 2022 with construction starting at the beginning of 2023.

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