Councillors back rezoning that could allow 2,200 homes in north Dublin

Dublin City Councillors support plan for 100-acre Finglas site by 43 votes to 17

Dublin City Councillors have voted for a change in zoning that could lead to as many as 2,200 new homes being built on a 100-acre site in Finglas, north Dublin.

The proposal to vary the Dublin City Development Plan to allow the redevelopment of land occupied mostly by vacant warehouses was backed by 43 councillors, with 17 objecting.

The tranche of land at Jamestown Road, just north of Finglas village, was examined under the council’s review of various industrial land with a view to rezoning the land from industrial to a mix of residential, commercial and community use to regenerate the Finglas area.

John O'Hara, city planning officer at Dublin City Council, said the plan for the area was a development comprising 50 per cent residential, 30 per cent commercial and 10 per cent open space, with a provision for community use in the scheme, including a school.

Cllr Noeleen Reilly (Independent), said the plan was an "excellent" proposal with "huge opportunities" for Finglas village "which has been dying on its knees for many years".

Cllr Ray McAdam (Fine Gael) said the party’s councillors were backing the plan because they can see the potential for 2,200 new homes in the area.

He urged his Fianna Fáil and Green Party colleagues in Government to back the plan after some in Fianna Fáil indicated that they would object to proposal.

Cllr Deirdre Heney (Fianna Fáil) said she was inclined to vote in favour of the plan.

Richard Shakespeare, assistant chief executive for planning at the council, said a vote against the plan would delay any redevelopment in Finglas until after the development plan for the area is completed in December 2022.

‘Damage our community’

Cllr Caroline Conroy (Green Party) said her party was not supporting the plan because it would lead to strategic housing developments (SHDs) – large-scale developments that bypass local authorities and go straight to An Bord Pleanála – that will "damage our community".

She felt it was better to wait the 30 weeks until the legislation underpinning SHDs “run out” in February 2022.

Cllr Catherine Stocker (Social Democrats) opposed the plan on the basis that the residential development plan would result in SHD applications from institutional investors leading to new apartments being rented back to people or on long-term leases to the council.

“I think if we do this now, we do a massive disservice to the people of Finglas. I think it is well worth waiting for the development plan,” she said.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is The Irish Times’s Public Affairs Editor and former Washington correspondent