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'It should all be up for grabs': Dublin City Council hopes industrial estates will be re-zoned for housing

Last week, the Department of Housing released guidelines outlining how the estates could be re-developed.

A warehouse in the Malahide Road Industrial Estate, Coolock, now owned by Dublin City Council
A warehouse in the Malahide Road Industrial Estate, Coolock, now owned by Dublin City Council

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL could re-zone some of the city’s older industrial estates to facilitate new housing developments.

Last week, the Department of Housing published draft guidelines outlining how local authorities could facilitate plans for the construction of buildings taller than is currently permitted.

Parts of the guidelines outline how current and former industrial estates may be developed, leading to speculation that some of Dublin’s older industrial land could be re-zoned for housing.

Speaking to the Irish Times today, the council’s head of housing Brendan Kenny said that the sites could be used for high-density apartment developments.

The move would be particularly suited to estates such as the Glasnevin Industrial Estate and the Kylemore Industrial Estate, which are located near existing transport infrastructure and remain under-used.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Dublin City Council said that while there are currently no proposals to re-zone industrial land in the city, it was hoped that plans to do so would be forthcoming.

“Some of the older industrial lands in the city provide a strong opportunity in the future for the construction of a very significant amount of much-needed housing at a time of a reducing land bank in the city,” she said.

“Re-zoning would be only one part of this, as the lands in question are in private ownership and often in multiple ownership, and re-zoning does not mean that the land will get developed for housing.

“It would require the owners getting together to develop a master plan.”

The spokeswoman added that the re-zoning of land can only be approved by city councillors, who would require details of potential developments before approving any moves to do so.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Sinn Féin councillor Daithí Doolan, chairman of the council’s Housing Strategic Policy Committee, also suggested that under-used land owned by state bodies should be re-zoned for housing.

“Any of those industrial sites or low-use land owned by the likes of CIE should really be made available,” he said.

“I would encourage the Minister [for Housing] to put it up for development, not just for homes, but for commercial use and community facilities as well.”

Doolan said that land across the city needed to be “put under the magnifying glass”, and that more proactive measures were needed to buy land to develop it.

He added: “Any land across the city that isn’t being used should all be up for grabs really.”

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