Use Dublin’s green spaces to build homes, says city chief

Dublin City Council chief questions amenity value of much of city’s green space

Dublin needed more homes, at higher densities, he said, but existing homeowners were not supportive of measures needed to provide these homes. Photograph: iStock

Dublin needed more homes, at higher densities, he said, but existing homeowners were not supportive of measures needed to provide these homes. Photograph: iStock

 

Some of Dublin’s green spaces should be considered for the development of housing “in the public interest”, chief executive of Dublin City Council Owen Keegan has said.

Almost 26 per cent of land in Dublin city is zoned for “amenity/open space”, which includes parks, playing fields, nature reserves and other green spaces. These lands, along with waterways protection land, are the only lands in the city where housing is prohibited.

Speaking at an Urban Land Institute conference in Dublin on Thursday, Mr Keegan said the open space lands should be assessed for their value to the community and their potential to provide housing.

There are too many examples of amenity/open space land in the city council area that quite frankly do not offer significant amenity value

“I believe there is a case for revisiting the 26 per cent of zoned land that is currently zoned amenity/open space.”

Quality open space was an essential component of a “healthy, sustainable city”, he said. “However, there are too many examples of amenity/open space land in the city council area that quite frankly do not offer significant amenity value. The public interest would be best served by allowing residential development of some of these sites in return for investing in improving recreational amenities on the balance of the site.”

The potential of other lands that are not designated for housing, but where housing could be considered, such as institutional lands, should also be assessed.

“There may also be a case for permitting greater residential development on lands, where residential development is either permissible or open for consideration but where it is not the primary land use objective.”

Dublin needed more homes, at higher densities, he said, but existing homeowners were not supportive of the measures needed to provide these homes, he said.