This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 12 °C Monday 14 October, 2019
Advertisement

Locals hold out hope that Weaver Garden allotments will be saved over rapid-build Liberties apartments

“We’re planting something that’s going to grow in Spring, so we’re hoping we get to stay,” a spokesperson told TheJournal.ie.

Image: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie

LIBERTIES LOCALS AND activists are to meet with Dublin City Council officials tomorrow afternoon to discuss whether it’s possible to stop plans to turn the community garden into rapid-build housing.

The gardeners use Weaver Square, beside the recently refurbished Weaver Park, to grow food in allotments, as well as tend to other plants. The area is one of the few green spaces in The Liberties, which has the lowest proportion of green space per person (some 0.7m per person) in Dublin. 

The Weaver Square Community Garden and Allotments group had asked that if the garden were to be bulldozed as planned, that an alternative site would be provided. Over a week after the group’s lease on the site has ran out, the council has still not offered them an alternative site.

Dublin City Council said previously that it was “difficult to do this in an urban environment setting and it is also difficult to get the right balance between the urgent need for housing and the demand to retain open spaces such as this one”.

Although 100 housing units were initially planned for the site, the Weaver Garden group were told that just 23 apartments would now be built to provide social housing.

Although the group agree that there is need for more housing in the area to tackle the housing crisis, they say that the council’s strategy seems badly thought out.

Gardens The gardens and allotments, next to Weaver Park. Source: Google Maps

“It’s a tipping point for green spots in the area,” a spokesperson for the Weaver Garden group says.

“Everyone on the allotments agrees that there is a housing crisis, but to lose the gardens for 23 units, a lot of which are one-bedroom apartments, it seems like a lot to lose.

To be fair to Dublin City Council, they saw the potential for the gardens when we started. 
The square was a really ugly sight – the worst kind of inner city eyesore. The allotments changed the tone of the place, it was seen as a real progressive thing that the City Council had supported, and now they’re going to get rid of that.

The spokesperson added that there isn’t “a single tree or green thing” in the drawings for the new houses, although those drawings aren’t very detailed.

“When you look at what’s happening with this tiny postage stamp in Weaver Square, it doesn’t make sense. It’s just an easier, faster build – there are better options elsewhere.”

Among other sites that the gardeners at Weaver Street argue could be more suitable is an 11-acre site that’s mostly used as a superdepo for different parking trucks. The council is also planning to use part of the land to build 100 social houses and two 20x25m pitches.

In a previous statement to TheJournal.ie, Dublin City Council said that the Chamber/Weaver Street is zoned for residential purposes. 

“It is owned by Dublin City Council and forms part of our limited land bank for the development of social housing. 

There is a housing crisis in Dublin City and we have to make the best possible use of the limited land bank that we have. There is a large number of households on our housing waiting lists for this area.

This Saturday 12 January, the group plans to plant spring bulbs. “We’re planting something that’s going to grow in Spring, so we’re hoping we get to stay. The locks on the gates haven’t been changed yet.”

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Read next:

COMMENTS (19)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel