More information needed on City Council proposals to dispose of depots across Dublin
Commenting on the report to Councillors on the proposal to consolidate depot sites and sell key sites, Labour Cllr Mary Freehill for the Rathmines Rathgar ward and former Lord Mayor of Dublin has said:
“The Dublin City Council Chief Executive is keeping key information from City Councillors on his proposal for the fire sale of important depot sites to the private sector.
“In a report to the City Council on the consolidation of 33 depot sites he fails to give councillors the size of each site involved, its housing capacity and its monetary value as key urban renewal location.
“I am calling for this critical information to be given to Councillors prior to the July meeting of the city council. The report states that city management has carried out a full assessment of each site and this information must be made available to Cllr’s before any decision can be made.
“The report estimates that approximately 500 dwelling units can be accommodated on the depot sites in question. In the middle of a housing crisis It is totally unacceptable for DCC to sell off such family silver to the highest bidder. Experience has shown that urban regeneration is only really successful when it is community lead and the city council has a guiding role in project management and on going urban management when the projects are completed. Our bitter experience in recent years is that developer lead projects are not the best vehicle for social and affordable housing provision.
“Section 138 of the Local Government Act allows for the disposal of council owned lands when the council agrees there is no required community need, and remarkably city management wants to dispose of these sites under this local government provision.
“Dublin city councillors should not let this happen. The housing and health crisis means that section 138 disposals cannot be considered by a responsible city council.
Cllr Freehill stressed that throughout the city our meetings with local communities have made it clear to the Labour Party that community owned land must be used for community purposes.
“In Rathmines a key district Centre, the local community and Rathmines Initiative are adamant that the Rathmines local depot lands are used for social and affordable housing and key step down housing and a primary care Health Centre.
“On the primary care Centre, this community support has enabled me to ensure meaningful discussions have begun between the council and HSE on the location of a Primary Care Centre on this site.
“The Chief Executive wants an informed discussion on the efficiency and effectiveness of direct labour operations and on the consolidation of direct labour depots, that can only start when full information is given to the Council, the CEO has failed to do this and should correct this immediately.”
Mary Freehill can be contacted at 086 812 6378 and [email protected]