High-rise plans for Dublin’s Docklands

 

Sir, – It comes as no surprise that developer Johnny Ronan wishes to scrap the Bord Pleanála-approved plan for Dublin’s Docklands. He is no stranger to controversy. Casting aside an agreed plan would however be a slap in the face for communities that have battled developers for years.

The late Justice Niall McCarthy stated that the development plan is a contract between the State and its people. The same is true of strategic development zones. Scrapping the strategic development zone breaches this contract and would send a message that the views of the public can be ignored.

In a globalised world, it is all the more important that the rights and values of Dockland communities are safeguarded against a laissez-faire approach that maximises profits over local interests.

What is it about developers who constantly repeat the mantra that tall buildings hold the answer to Dublin’s housing crisis? Do they really believe that selling high-rise apartments for €964,030 to Dublin City Council will solve the challenge of affordability?

Tall buildings may have a place in Dublin, but they are expensive to build and maintain and create dark and windy canyons at street level.

They might attract more highly paid and transient tech workers, but in raising land prices, they exacerbate our housing crisis and price people out of Dublin.

Instead, we should focus on providing well-designed high-density housing at affordable prices for those most in need. Tall, shiny, expensive buildings mean nothing if they do not provide realistic housing solutions. Given the choice, I would settle for the down-to-earth affordability of attractive medium-rise cities like Vienna or Helsinki over the high-rise glitz and glamour of Houston or Dubai. – Yours, etc,

CIARÁN CUFFE MEP,

Green Party,

Stoneybatter,

Dublin 7.