Liffey Valley land sold by Nama despite national park plea

Lucan site once earmarked for 1,600 houses sells for €4.3m

The land was owned by Sean Mulryan and Marese Ltd and sold at auction by Nama. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

The land was owned by Sean Mulryan and Marese Ltd and sold at auction by Nama. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

 


A 274-acre plot of land in the Liffey Valley near Lucan, Co Dublin, once earmarked by developers for more than 1,600 houses, has been sold for €4.3 million.

The land owned by Sean Mulryan and Marese Ltd was sold at auction at the order of the National Asset Management Agency despite an appeal by campaigners that it be retained by the State as a national park.


‘Social dividend’
The Liffey Valley Park Alliance wanted the land which borders the river at St Edmundsbury, 13km from the city centre, to form part of a green swathe stretching from Islandbridge to Straffan, Co Kildare, as a “social dividend” from Nama’s activities.

In 2007 Mr Mulryan offered 184 acres of the site to South Dublin County council in exchange for a change of zoning to allow residential development on the remaining 100 acres of agricultural land.

The land would have been developed by the Affordable Homes Partnership, which proposed to build 1,600 houses, 70 per cent of which would be affordable houses. In 2008 councillors rejected the offer.

The site is protected by the Liffey Valley special amenity area order, but the alliance said they were disappointed the State did not take the opportunity to buy the lands .

“The alliance is appalled and angry that there was such a lack of focused consideration and engagement to ensure that there was clarity on what could be done, what needed to be done, and to do that so the best effort could have been made to secure them for the nation. Tragically this was not the case in our view,” alliance chair Attracta Uí Bhroin said.

The successful bidder chose to remain anonymous yesterday, but with just six acres having planning permission for a single house, it is likely that the land will remain in agricultural use.