Council defers decision on new Clondalkin homes

by Mark O'Brien
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South Dublin County Council

South Dublin County Council have deferred a decision to build almost 1,000 homes in Clondalkin until next month.

The decision to sell the 73 acre site at Kilcarberry/The Grange to a private developer was put before the council at Monday’s full council meeting.

The proposal would see 975 units being built, including 294 social housing units. But councillors requested further time to get a deal which would see the site being developed by the council for social and affordable housing.

Cllr Madeleine Johansson (PBP) said after the meeting: “The deferral of the vote on the proposal gives us an extra month to go to the Minister for Housing and demand that funding is made available for a council led development on this site.

“It also gives us an extra month to build pressure on the other councillors to vote against the sell-off of the land.”

Cllr Johansson added that she felt the plan was a terrible deal for taxpayers, homeless families and those on the social housing list.

Speaking during the meeting, Sinn Fein group leader Cathal King said: “Unfortunately, the proposal does not provide any affordable housing for working families.

“While the detail of the scheme in terms of housing, social mix, community facilities and land for a new school are all positive, the absence of any affordable housing is a real problem.”

Cllr King’s party colleague Cllr Mark Ward added: “We cannot support a financing model that would see all 681 non-social houses sold at market prices.

“This would mean homes for sale from €340,000 and apartments for sale from €290,000.

“On the basis of the information we have, none of the private homes would be affordable for single income households, and the only homes that would be within the price range of two income households would be small one bed apartments.

“The only way for the development to meet the affordable needs of the local community is if the Council and the Department of Housing work together to put in place an alternative funding model. Not all councillors were in agreement with the deferral.

Cllr William Lavelle (FG) accused Sinn Fein of “crass hypocrisy”.

He said: “It shows the crass hypocrisy of Sinn Fein that they demand urgent responses to the housing crisis while delaying this scheme.

“I have not up-to-now subscribed to the views of those who blame councils for the housing crisis.

“But the decision today had given succour to those views.”

The next full council meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday, October 8.

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