Glenveagh gets the green light for Donabate development

by Rose Barrett
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By Rose Barrett

Members of Fingal Council voted this week to progress the Ballymastone development in Donabate, thereby approving the disposal of lands to the appointed developers, Glenveagh Living Ltd.

While many welcomed the progression of the scheme which follows years of planning and consultation by Fingal County Council (FCC) via ‘Project Talamh’, the response on social media since has been ‘luke warm’.

Sinn Féin led the opposition against Tuesday’s motion which effectively means Glenveagh will purchase the lands, 32 hectares in total, from FCC. 

Twelve thousand social, private discounted and private houses will be constructed over a 10-12 year period.

Cllr Ann Graves (SF) stated she fully supported the development of the lands at Ballymastone, but slated the sale of public lands to Glenveagh at site prices well below the market value. Tuesday’s vote (31-9), she claimed, will simply exacerbate the ‘locked out’ generation.

“This is public land – we don’t have very much of it so it should be prioritised for affordable and social housing. I’m based in Swords with three grown up children and they haven’t a hope of buying a house in this area. 

“Last night, my colleague Cllr Aaron O’Rourke stated that, despite being a working teacher and councillor, with a ‘decent’ income, he is one of the locked-out – people who just can’t afford to buy houses in Donabate, Swords and the wider north county Dublin area.”

Deputy Louise O’Reilly, SF described the Glenveagh/ FCC partnership as a “sweetheart deal” for the developer. 

“We have already seen the devastation caused by tax breaks and deals for big investment firms on the housing market – the government need to be proactive in supporting councils to build affordable homes and until they do this, the housing crisis they’ve created won’t be fixed!” she stated. 

However, Cllr Adrian Henchy (FF) who proposed the motion, seconded by Cllr Jimmy Guerin (Ind) hit back at Sinn Féin, stating they chose to ignore the mammoth work by FCC in preparing the Ballymastone project to meet ALL housing needs for the area.

“FCC will lead this scheme, to ensure the developers meet their targets, and are fully in compliance with the Donabate Local Area Plan and Fingal Development Plan 2017-2023.

“The developers must now bring a planning application to An Bord Pleanála, that will allow everyone an opportunity to make an observation.

“The 60-20-20 mix will deliver housing for all; 238 social houses and 238 affordable houses will include a provision for the elderly and persons with additional housing needs. 

“It will deliver three bed houses starting from €270, 000 and two beds from €250, 000 – well below the current market rate of €400,000 in Donabate. 

“The rest (60%) will go to market. NONE of the housing and duplexes going to market will be sold off to a private equity fund plus FCC has an undertaking that 50% of the apartments will go to market for private sale with the remaining balance to be cost rental.” 

Cllr Henchy noted there will be a top-class sporting, recreational and educational campus located beside the development with superb all-weather amenities, plus three sites designated for future schools.  

The nine councillors who voted against the motion were:  Sf Cllrs Ann Graves, Natalie Treacy, Breda Hanaphy and Aaron O’Rourke; Dean Mulligan, Independents4 Change;  Joan Hopkins and, Paul Mulville, Social Democrats; Tania Doyle, Independent and John Burtchaell, Solidarity.

Caption: Ballymastone site map

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