Decision on 850 homes at Oscar Traynor site in Dublin due this month

Developer Glenveagh offers to increase proportion of social homes in scheme

A final decision on the development of more than 850 homes on one of the largest plots of Dublin City Council-owned land will be taken later this month, after a deferral proposed by the Green Party.

Developer Glenveagh on Monday moved to reassure councillors of its commitment to the agreed development of the site at Oscar Traynor Road in Santry, ahead of what was expected to be a contentious vote at Monday night's council meeting.

Councillors one year ago rejected a deal with Glenveagh for the development of 853 homes, 50 per cent of which would have been sold privately by Glenveagh, 30 per cent bought by the council for social housing and 20 per cent sold to low- and middle-income workers qualifying for the upcoming affordable purchase scheme.

Last March councillors put forward a new plan for the land to be developed directly by the council for public housing, with 80 per cent of the land to be used for social and cost-rental housing, with 20 per cent reserved for affordable purchase.

Following an initial assessment of their plan by the Department of Housing it would be “at least five years before the new project would be progressed to a ready-to-build stage”, according to a report last month from the council’s housing section.

However the report said Glenveagh was still interested in carrying out the development and was willing to sell a further 10 per cent of the private homes to the council, increasing the percentage of social homes to 40 per cent. It also said it would be willing to sell 40 per cent to an approved housing body for a cost-rental scheme. The remaining 20 per cent could be sold for affordable housing.

Recent increases in Government subvention and loan schemes meant the housing could be provided at a lower cost than previously estimated with affordable homes costing €204,000-€238,000 for a one bed to €250,000- €306,000 for a three bed, with cost-rental prices up to €1,500 a month for a two-bed apartment, the council said.

In a letter to Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland and the council's head of planning Richard Shakespeare Stephen ahead of the meeting on Monday, Stephen Garvey, Glenveagh chief executive, said his company would stick with the councillors' plan for all homes to be "State-supported housing".

Mr Garvey said he was “increasingly concerned about misconceptions that have emerged” about the deal.

The company was committed to delivering the tenure mix of 40 per cent social housing, 40 per cent cost-rental and 20 per cent affordable purchase homes, he said.

“We do not wish to increase either the heights or density on the site and it will be relevant statutory bodies, in this case Dublin City Council, who will untimely adjudicate upon the application,” he said.

The company would “endeavour to commence construction in late 2022, subject to a successful planning application”, with all homes completed within four years, he said.

Ms Gilliland on Monday agreed to the deferral of the vote but said “no further adjournment or deferral will be acceded to”.

Fine Gael has said it will vote in favour of the deal. Fianna Fáil is seeking additional affordable housing, but is also expected to support the project. The Green Party has sought commitments on the deal that are largely addressed in Mr Garvey’s letter. Sinn Féin plans to vote against the scheme.