Welcome for 200 affordable houses in Ballymun

by Rose Barrett
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Rose Barrett

The confirmation of over 200 affordable houses for the Ballymun area has been broadly welcomed by councillors across the political landscape.

Fianna Fáil’s Cllr Keith Connolly has welcomed plans by Dublin City Council to build 206 affordable purchase houses in Ballymun while Sinn Féin’s Cllr Anthony Connaghan stated the plans so far are lacking in final details on pricing and application criteria.

Both councillors who represent Ballymun-Finglas on DCC welcome the future availability of affordable housing to the local populous, with 105 units at Balbutcher Lane and 101 at Sillogue.

“The houses will be built using the government’s new Housing for All plan whereby  the state will subsidise each house up to €100,000,” stated Cllr Connolly. “The two sites have been empty for a number of years after the old council flats were knocked down.”

Cllr Connolly noted the mix of three beds (79) and two beds (26) at Balbutcher Lane, with 66 and 35 respectively at the Sillogue site. He further welcomed the generous proportions of the rear gardens in all housing units proposed, which exceed the minimum 10 sq mts per bed space, along with public spaces and in-curtilage parking.

However, SF’s Anthony Connaghan stated his concerns regarded final pricing and application criteria. 

“All these plans always look amazing,” he told the Dublin Gazette. “And locals are  crying out for affordable housing,”

Howver, he noted “Devanney Gardens, near the Phoenix park, were promoted as ‘affordable’ and the final price was €395,000 per house but they were out of reach for a couple earning in excess of 70k per annum.

“Also when Hampton Wood was built via the Strategic Housing Directive (SHD) they were bought up by vulture schemes. These built to rent – BTRs – were totally un-affordable to locals with excessive rents.

“The Minister has said there’s a €100k supplement per unit but no details as yet as to the tendering process, who the purchaser/developer will be, or the final application criteria, etc.

“These two schemes are in the heart of Ballymun but there’s a lack of detail at the minute as to pricing, and that’s my concern. These houses must go to those who need them most!”

Cllr Connaghan welcomed the scheme but called on DCC to release the pricing and application terms sooner.

Rat issues onsite addressed

In autumn, serious rat issues were reported on the Balbutcher site, which impacted residents in the area. Dublin City Council confirmed the issue is now under control.

“In October, the Public Domain Team received complaints from resident and public representatives with regard to rats coming from the Balbutcher Lane site. 

“A contractor was sought to carry out an inspection of the site; on October 20 last, 100 external bait blocks were installed and have been inspected weekly from that date. 

“There were numerous factors attributed to the increase in rat population at this location: large construction works nearby, relatively warm weather and an increase in illegal dumping of domestic waste. The problem seems to have been resolved; however, there is on-going monitoring of the location,” assured Dublin City Council. 

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