Fingal council moves to begin development of 1,200 homes in north Dublin

Vote to sell public land passes without support from Sinn Féin or Social Democrats

Fingal County Council said there would be a guaranteed delivery of affordable homes to first-time buyers at a cost of between €250,000 and €270,000. File photograph: Eric Luke

Fingal County Council said there would be a guaranteed delivery of affordable homes to first-time buyers at a cost of between €250,000 and €270,000. File photograph: Eric Luke

 

Moves to begin the development of 1,200 homes in north county Dublin were passed by Fingal County Council on Tuesday night but without the support of a number of councillors including Sinn Féin and the Social Democrats.

The vote secures the disposal of public lands at Ballymastone, Donabate, to the developer Glenveagh Living and was supported by council management. It passed by 31 votes to nine.

Sinn Féin councillor Ann Graves explained that her party had rejected the disposal because it will see 60 per cent private dwellings.

“We supported the development on the lands but what we wanted was affordable homes for working people,” she told The Irish Times, following the special four-hour meeting.

“Now it’s going to be developed over 10 years, which doesn’t reflect the urgency of the housing crisis.”

The council, which will provide the development through Glenveagh, described it as an “exemplar sustainable housing development in tandem with the community, recreational and educational facilities”.

More than 10 per cent of the site will be developed as public open space with parks, community facilities, creches, electric vehicle-charging points and transport links, the council said.

A separate motion from Fianna Fáil councillors was also passed and commended the work of Fingal housing scheme Project Talamh, which it said would also incorporate 20 per cent affordable and 20 per cent social units.

Planning stage

Fingal chief executive AnnMarie Farrelly said it was ready to go straight to planning stage and could deliver homes to first time buyers and social tenants as early as next year.

“It will make a big difference in terms of housing supply,” she said. “This project has been a long time in the making and it begins with a very good local area plan.”

Despite Sinn Féin’s insistence that the balance of development was not acceptable, its decision to hold back support for Tuesday’s motion attracted an immediate political backlash.

A statement from Fine Gael senator Regina Doherty said the plans had been in the works for more than four years, including a 2½-year tender process and “endless negotiations”.

“In line with Sinn Féin’s hypocritical approach across the country, they voted against the delivery of these homes, in favour of some imaginary, fanciful alternative that would have set the whole plan right back to the beginning,” she said.

The council said there would be a guaranteed delivery of affordable homes to first-time buyers at a cost of between €250,000 and €270,000. It said the 10-year development time frame “takes account of the number of houses the local market can absorb at any one time”.