New agreement proposes several changes to Dublin over next five years

by Dublin Gazette
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An agreement has been reached by Dublin City Council on a new document that proposes several changes to council policy over the next five years.

One of the pledges in the new policy is to stop the sale of public lands to private developers, except in exceptional circumstances.

The new policy, named the Dublin Agreement, was published on Monday evening following the first meeting of the new council since the local elections on May 24.

Created by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, the Green Party and the Social Democrats, the new agreement will run for the next five years.

As settled upon by councillors, the council will reject the sale of lands to private developers unless the monetary benefit exceeds the benefit that the construction of public housing would have.

Cllr Rebecca Moynihan (Labour) said: “We need to get real as a city in the middle of a housing crisis when it comes to the provision of housing, we can no longer accept the sale of land to developers who will not provide social and affordable housing or entertain the cost-rental model.”

In other aspects of the agreement, it was also decided that a night mayor is to be appointed to the capital in an effort to aid in the development of Dublin’s night-time culture.

The new position will be in conjunction with a cultural manifesto being developed for the capital, following in the footsteps of cities like Amsterdam and London.

Parties also pledged to continue the pedestrianisation of some areas of the city centre, whilst seeking to pedestrianise other areas including South William Street and Moore Street.

In a major move, councillors have also agreed to develop a multipurpose ‘site of conscience’ at the former Magdalene Laundry on Sean McDermott Street. A Site of Conscience is a historic site, where initiatives on-site aim to connect past struggles to today’s movements for human rights.

Previously, the Sean McDermott street laundry – which is the last Laundry in state ownership – had been eyed up for sale to, and development by, a hotel chain.

Councillors also committed to a publicly provided waste collection service, which Cllr Daithi Doolan (SF) said ‘is a positive step’ for both the environment and householders.

Doolan said: “The privatisation of Dublin’s household waste collection has been a disaster. It has led to an increase in illegal dumping, increased cost for households and traffic congestion on our roads.

“A single service provided and overseen by the council is cost effective, efficient and reduces truck movement on our roads. I firmly believe this is a positive step. Positive for the householder and the environment. It is a win-win for everyone.”

Speaking on the new plan, Cllr Dermot Lacey said: “The publication of the Dublin agreement is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for our capital city.

“This ambitious plan for Dublin deals with many of the issues and challenges Dubliners face every day such as housing, cycling infrastructure, tackling climate chaos, waste management, transport, arts and culture.

“I am excited to see how this plan progresses over the next five years of this council mandate.” 

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