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Sunday 25 September 2016

Deal reached on development of O'Devaney site

Work will begin on O’Devaney Gardens later this year
Work will begin on O’Devaney Gardens later this year

A half-private, half-social housing agreement has been reached on the O'Devaney Gardens development off the North Circular Road.

The agreement, hammered out in a meeting between Housing Minister Simon Coveney and Dublin City Council (DCC), has been described by some councillors as a "secret deal" that excluded the majority of local representatives.

It will see up to 600 housing units being built in the development.

These will comprise 50pc private housing, 30pc social and 20pc of the units will be earmarked for affordable low-income homes.

Invited

Local representatives at the meeting came from the council's Corporate Policy Group, whose members include the Lord Mayor of Dublin and the seven Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) chairs.

The agreement was reached on Tuesday night, and it is expected that work on the development will begin later this year.

However, Eilis Ryan of the Workers Party, who had a motion passed to have the majority of homes in the development given over to social units, said all DCC councillors should have been invited to the meeting.

She added that until the next full council meeting next month, the motion that was passed is still the policy of DCC.

"I was informed of the meeting because somebody overheard - it's the only way I knew," said Ms Ryan.

Independent councillor Cieran Perry labelled the agreement a "secret deal".

"In an effort to bypass councillor objections to the give-away of council-owned lands in O'Devaney Gardens to private developers, Mr Coveney met with senior council officials and a small group of councillors who do not represent the full council," he said.

However, Mr Coveney's dep- artment, DCC and housing chair Daithi Doolan defended the meeting.

"The chairs of the SPCs represent a good spread across the political parties. The current proposal will be discussed by the housing committee," said a spokesman for the minister.

A DCC spokeswoman said: "It was decided that the minister would meet the Corporate Policy Group (CPG) as he was not in a position to attend the City council meeting.

Mr Doolan insisted no one was excluded.

"Nobody was locked out, it wasn't private," he said.

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