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Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 23 May, 2019
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These four plots of land will be used to build thousands of social and affordable homes

Simon Coveney denied that the plan represents a “sell-off” of state land.

Housing Construction Boom Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

FOUR PLOTS OF land in Dublin will be used to build 3,000 new homes under a new government strategy.

Ads for the sale of the sites will be placed in newspapers in the coming days.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney today launched the Rebuilding Ireland Housing Land Map, which he called a key component of the state’s housing land strategy.

The map is a collation of data from an array of state departments, agencies and bodies. It includes details of over 700 local authority and Housing Agency owned sites totalling some 1,700 hectares, as well 30 sites of around 200 hectares) owned by state or semi-state bodies in the Greater Dublin Area and other major urban centres.

The map also shows the locations of 144 active sites where around 5,200 new dwellings are under construction in the Dublin region.

Coveney commended both South Dublin County Council and Dublin City Council for bringing forward four sites that will deliver up to 3,000 social and affordable homes.

The sites are located in Kilcarbery in South Dublin:

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The others are: Infirmary Road, Emmet Road, and Oscar Traynor Road in Dublin City.

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Coveney said that he wanted local authorities and developers to come up with business plans to develop on those sites.

“I want all local authorities to take up the mantle and to bring forward sites as quickly as possible for development in this way. Opening up State-land for mixed-tenure housing is a major policy intervention: if others control scarcity in terms of land supply, they control the market. I want the State to ensure that does not happen.”

Sell-off

Coveney denied, however, that this plan represents a “sell-off” of state land. He added that in some cases, such as some lands held by CIE, the land banks formed part of the workers’ pension fund. This meant that developers would build on the land under a license. In some cases, there will be a transfer of land, but some state agencies would own the land for affordable rental accommodation.

“I believe in mixed-tenure communities, I don’t believe in segregation. We have to facilitate integration by design.

“This is not about a sell-off of land. Some of these landbanks, local authorities will keep ownership of. Other state actors will stay involved if they don’t want to sell the land.”

He said that the state would “have to get the dividend” of any plan put forward for land, but said this was not necessarily a “financial dividend”.

Councils, he said, would have the final approval on any plan, saying that the deals would not be “quiet deals between chief executives and developers”.

Other sites

Coveney said that there were plans for sites all over the country and spoke of an ambitious plan to build in Galway’s docklands, a site he called “a gem”. The docklands site is bordered by Ceannt Station and forms over 4.7 hectares of land.

Coveney said that the plan could see “very high” buildings put in the area.

In Dublin, Connolly Station, St Theresa’s Gardens and a number of inner-city sites have been earmarked.

In Cork, 56 hectares at the Tivoli Docks in the city have been identified, as well as sites at St Kevin’s Hospital and Nash’s Boreen.

While the contents of the map have the potential to deliver 50,000 homes, Coveney feels it could be more.

“We could be much more ambitious but it’s important not to over promise. Some sites will not be viable at the moment for whatever reason.

“I think 50,000 is a realistic figure over four years.”

Read: Government approves selling parts of Irish TV to Irish diaspora newspaper >

Read: Over 3,000 staff at Dublin City Council not paid today due to admin error >

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