Dublin City Council should stop sale of family silver

7 June 2018

Statement by Joe Costello

Labour spokesperson on Urban Regeneration, Joe Costello has said the latest proposal by Dublin City Council to sell off valuable land banks currently used as Council depots in the heart of the City is totally unacceptable in the midst of a housing crisis.

Mr Costello, Labour representative in Dublin Central said:

"The plan by Dublin City Council to sell off a number of valuable sites in Dublin City centre is the equivalent of selling off the family silver and should be rejected out of hand.

"Dublin City Council is proposing to consolidate all its Operations’ depots across the City and to relocate them to Ballymun. This means that a large number of prime City centre sites will become available.

"In Dublin Central constituency the following list of DCC depots will be evacuated:

  • Slaney Rd, Glasnevin,Dublin 11
  • Aldborough Parade, North Strand, Dublin 3
  • Orchard Rd, Drumcondra. Dublin 9
  • Portland Row,Dublin 1
  • Coleraine St, Dublin 1
  • Broombridge Rd, Cabra, Dublin 1
  • Bannow Rd, Cabra, Dublin 7

"These sites make up a substantial acreage of land. All are in the ownership of the City Council and all are eminently suitable for development. Other areas across the city will have similar parcels of prime land available when the relocation of the City Council’s services takes place under the Manager’s proposals.

"It is imperative that these lands are retained in the ownership of the City Council and used for community purposes.

"Clearly, social and affordable housing is the most pressing issue of the day. The numbers on the housing and homeless lists are growing all the time. The Government and the local authorities in Dublin have failed dismally to meet the demand. So far they have relied entirely on the private construction sector to provide the necessary accommodation. But the private sector is busily building office blocks and student accommodation and has shown no interest in providing affordable residential housing units. Consequently, housing targets are always missed and the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, looks increasingly foolish defending the indefensible.

"This is a unique, once in a generation, opportunity for the State to fulfil its statutory role as the national housing authority by directing the local authorities not to sell off newly vacated lands but to designate them for housing purposes.

"This large-scale local authority portfolio of building lands once available should not be contracted out to the private sector for construction which is the standard practice but which tends to be excessively expensive.

"Instead the lands should be entrusted to the semi-state body, Nama, which has completed its remit to dispose of impaired state assets and is in the process of building 20,000 units of accommodation at present.

"I am calling on the Minister for Housing and on Dublin City Council not to dispose of the family silver to the highest bidder but to make it available to solve the worst housing crisis the State has ever experienced."