New Priory Hall apartments are ‘top class’, councillors claim
Dublin City Council members debate level of social housing at the refurbished complex
The notorious Priory Hall complex under demolition and reconstruction in north Dublin. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
Homebuyers would be hard pressed to find apartments for sale which are finished to the standard of those in the refurbished Priory Hall complex in north Dublin, city councillors have claimed.
Dublin City Council recently finished work on the first phase of the redevelopment of the notorious Priory Hall apartments, following the evacuation of the scheme in 2011.
Residents of the 187 apartments had to leave their homes after the fire service said they represented a fire trap.
Under a deal between the Government, Dublin City Council, the apartment owners and banks, the council has refurbished 60 apartments, nine of which are to be reserved for social housing, in the first phase of the redevelopment.
During a council debate on Monday, city manager Owen Keegan said that a level of 20 per cent social housing would be maintained in the scheme.
However, councillors hope that more then 20 per cent of the development can be utilised for social housing - particularly if the council sells to private purchasers who can avail of the local authority’s own mortgage scheme for those on low incomes.
Labour councillor Alison Gilliland, who managed to move a motion at Monday’s meeting calling for the level of social housing at the complex to be increased to 30 per cent, said she had been encouraged by Mr Keegan’s comments that he would try to reach agreement on the matter.
“I think we can then split the remaining private homes, half being sold on the open market and half being sold to applicants for the low-income mortgage scheme,” she said.
Ms Gilliland said she had visited a refurbished apartment in the complex and was impressed by its sound-proofing, safety and quality of finish, which she said was much better than many private-sector apartments.
“The standard of safety and security is really top class.
“If you are looking for a safe, fully ‘speced’ apartment, I would say buy Priory Hall,” she said.
Labour group leader on the council Dermot Lacey also said he believed a resolution was in sight regarding the level of social housing in the complex, which will be known as New Priory.
He said city management was working very hard to find an answer which was acceptable to all parties.
Apartments in the first phase of the €27 million redevelopment are to go on sale at the end of September.