FG and FF slammed for blocking potential for 400 new homes in Leopardstown

by Rebecca Ryan

A local councillor is slamming Fine Gael and Fianna Fail for blocking a discussion on Leopardstown Racecourse land and the potential for 400 homes.

Sinn Fein councillor for Glencullen Sandyford, Chris Curran said Fine Gael and Fianna Fail refused to allow his motion for discussion at a recent meeting of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

The motion called on the Housing Minister and the Agriculture Minister to step in to ensure that vacant sites on the outskirts of Leopardstown Racecourse are handed over to the council.

“The motion was a perfectly sound motion that could have paved the way for the development of 400 desperately needed homes.

“The land is ideal for housing, it is already zoned residential, it is water and drainage serviced, has its own LUAS stop and is within a few hundred meters from the M50.”
Cllr Curran added he fears that if the state does not step in, the land could be lost to a private developer.

“It’s not as if an initiative like this is unique. In Cherry Orchard, the HSE handed over land to Dublin City Council and other sites in state ownership are being identified across the state for much-needed housing.”

The Sinn Fein councilor told Dublin Gazette previously that the area has one of the worst housing lists.

“Dun Laoghaire Rathdown is not only the smallest county in the state, it has one of the worst housing waiting lists too with extremely limited land resources.

“Leopardstown Racecourse is owned by the semi-state body – Horse Racing Ireland. Every year, horse racing enjoys significant financial support from the state.

“Last year alone the sport received €64m in state funding, an increase of €5m on the previous year. In many respects, the taxpayer has paid for this land many times over.

“Having researched the land in question and after communications with senior council officials, we estimate the sites to be around 6.5 hectares that could yield up to 450 housing units.”

Cllr Curran said he met with the Housing Minister about the issue recently.
“On February 12, we had a meeting with Minister Eoghan Murphy.
“I brought the issue to his attention and outlined the attributes of the Leopardstown Site and land in the ownership of the Central Bank.

“He seemed genuinely interested in our racecourse proposal. He outlined that he had a team looking into potential new sites for beyond 2021. Whilst I welcome this, we cannot wait until after 2021. He needs to start acting on this site now otherwise it could take 5 or 6 years before any new homes would start construction.”

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