South Dublin council votes to sell public land for development of 620 homes

Sinn Féin members abstain from vote on deal for ‘Foothills’ development in Killinarden

 

A motion to dispose of council land in Killinarden, in southwest Dublin, to build 620 homes has been passed by local councillors despite abstentions from Sinn Féin members and opposition from two other representatives.

A motion to sell the land for the Foothills development passed with 27 votes in favour, two against and four abstentions.

The deal involves the sale of nearly 16 hectares in Killinarden, Tallaght, to developer Arden for €14 million in exchange for the development of nearly 500 social and affordable homes.

The development will be 60 per cent affordable purchase, 20 per cent private homes and 20 per cent social housing, which will be owned by South Dublin County Council.

Three of Sinn Féin’s four councillors abstained on the motion, while Cllr Cathal King was absent. Cllr Liam Sinclair, of An Rabharta Glas – Green Left also abstained, while People Before Profit’s Madeleine Johansson and Independent Eoin Ó Broin voted against the proposal.

A number of councillors were absent from the meeting, while all others present voted in favour of the Section 183 land disposal. The development will be delivered by Sisk Living, Kelland Homes and Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance.

Councillors had agreed in March 2020 to progress the procurement process.

The council’s director of housing, Colm Ward, said the development will be “tenure blind”, meaning that it will not be possible to differentiate between private, affordable or social homes.

The average price of an affordable home on the site will be €263,000. However, by availing of affordable purchase schemes, the local authority hopes the end purchaser will pay €250,000, Mr Ward said.

Sinn Féin’s Louise Dunne, who abstained, noted she had voted against the land disposal last year, but she said the development on offer now is “a lot more positive”. She said the proposal is not her “preferred model” as she does not believe the council should be selling public land to private developers.

Ms Johansson, of People Before Profit, said she has “consistently spoken against” this method of providing homes.

Fine Gael’s David McManus praised a “very positive deal” involving a “straightforward” transfer of land that the development company will pay for. He criticised councillors who “complain about the housing crisis but take no positive measures to get these homes built”.

Charlie O’Connor, a Fianna Fáil representative, said the community is in favour of the “very exciting project”.