herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Call for bottle site to be all affordable housing

Housing Minister Simon Coveney.
Housing Minister Simon Coveney.

Residents of Ringsend and Irishtown will stage a protest at City Hall to demand that the former Irish Glass Bottle Company site be given over entirely to affordable and council housing.

A major concern in the community has been the exodus of families to commuter towns as rents and mortgage costs in the area soar.

"It used to be a problem with kids having to leave and relocate to Wexford and commuter towns. Now their parents are following them," said Tom Crilly, of the Irish Glass Bottle Site Action Group.

"Over the past number of years, Google and Facebook have come and that is great, but now people can't afford to rent or buy here any more.

"It's having a devastating impact on the community. GAA clubs and soccer clubs are even struggling to recruit members. You're losing whole families in the area."

The former Irish Glass Bottle Company site is zoned to be developed
The former Irish Glass Bottle Company site is zoned to be developed

The group has organised a protest to take place before next Monday's meeting of Dublin City Council.

"It's going to be an information protest. We are hoping to meet the councillors as they are going in and share with them our concerns," said Mr Crilly.

Vision

The group has been meeting architects every fortnight and will submit its vision for the area to the council and to Housing Minister Simon Cov-eney.

Mr Crilly said the area needed more shops, schools and other amenities.

The former Irish Glass Bottle Company land is part of an 80-acre site zoned to be developed, and Mr Crilly said 100pc of it should be developed into affordable and council housing.

The Government has designated it a strategic development zone to allow 3,000 new homes and 130,000 square metres of offices and retail space to be developed using fast-track planning powers.

In May, the minister suggested that 10pc of homes would be used for social housing.

At the time, the community group said this showed he did not appreciate the scale of the housing crisis.

"Nama is already scheduled to make €1bn in profit," said the group's Annette Mooney.

"Some of this money must now be used for council housing. Nama is supposed to contribute to the social and economic development of the State.

"Instead of living up to this obligation it has become a vehicle for bringing vulture funds to Ireland and restoring Ireland's speculative developers to their former glory."

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