Tetrarch recently carried out a RED C survey in the Howth area, which claimed that lack of affordable housing is driving young people out of the Howth/Sutton area, and that more than one in 10 are stuck in unwanted rentals or living with parents.
Cllr David Healy (GP) responded to the findings stating the company simply asked the questions they wanted answers to.
“They haven’t discovered anything particularly newsworthy in this survey. It doesn’t address the court challenge that we need to protect the natural amenity of Howth, and there isn’t a need for any more lands to be rezoned in the area.”
Tetrarch currently have major planning proposals in Howth, focusing around development at the former Deer Park Hotel and Howth Estate.
Tetrarch proposed the construction of a 142 bed hotel, upgraded amenities and golf course. In addition to the hotel development, Tetrarch sought support for the rezoning of a small element of its lands at Howth Estate to facilitate the development of affordable housing and senior living accommodation for the local community.
Cllr Healy states zoning more lands and losing natural amenities in the area is not the solution. The RED C poll conducted by Tetrarch is simply a PR exercise.
“It’s no secret there’s a need for housing in general in the area, where there are good transport services and natural amenities. But our job as a planning authority (FCC) is to ensure that enough land is zoned and that is the case in Fingal – we have ample lands zoned in Fingal.
“There are 500 units at the Techrete site in Howth currently under construction. There’s an application for another 100 units at Bailey Court site; essentially, they’re being built on the available housing lands in Howth.”
The survey claims 70% of those who participated say there would be strong demand for senior living accommodation in the affluent Dublin suburb. This in turn, would free up large family homes which are now occupied by only one or two ageing parents.
“This is a countrywide issue, not exclusive to Howth,” said Cllr Healy. “It’s a national challenge. It’s not a reason for Fingal to rezone high amenity land which is so important not just for the people of Howth but for the entire city.”
Claiming the cost of a three-bed home in the area is at least €600,000, Tetrarch propose that Circle Housing deliver 150 affordable homes in Sutton.
The majority of the affordable homes built on a 6.5 acre site on Carrickbrack Road in Sutton, would be available to local buyers for under €300,000.
Cllr Healy concluded: “Protecting the natural amenity of Howth and Sutton for future generations while addressing the need for local housing is the challenge.
“Zoning more land is not the solution. The solution is to drive the use of land that is already zoned; as the government is introducing a tax on zoned land, hopefully, that will kick in and drive further housing development.”
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