Councillors have opted to postpone a vote on the controversial O’Devaney Gardens development, following intervention from the Housing Minister.
A vote on the development by Dublin City councillors was expected to take place at the monthly council meeting on Monday.
However, following a proposal from Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe to postpone the debate, it was decided that the vote will take place at November’s meeting instead.
Councillors are understood to have received a letter from Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy on Monday ahead of the council meeting, which said that a failure to accept the proposals would be a ‘significant blow’ to the city, and would question the ability of Dublin City Council to deliver homes.
The Minister also said that the Department of Housing would no longer provide a subsidy for the development of the site if councillors did not approve the development.
In the letter, Minister Murphy said: “Should the proposal not now be supported by Dublin City Council, this will represent a significant blow for the citizens of Dublin who are in need of new homes…
“I would also note that funding from my department to both reduce the cost of homes and to help fund much-needed community facilities will also be lost if elected members decide not to proceed with this important project.”
A rejection of the current proposal would also result in a five-year delay for the project, according to DCC housing chief Brendan Kenny.
Over 800 housing units are proposed for the development in North Dublin, with 50% to be private housing, 30% social housing and 20% affordable housing, to be developed by property developer Bartra.
The development has been the subject of widespread controversy in previous weeks, after a report on the development revealed that ‘affordable’ housing on the site would cost around €300,000, with prices rising as high as €420,000 for some homes.
In contrast to this, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy told the Oireachtas Housing Committee in September that homes at O’Devaney Gardens would be affordable for those on the ‘average industrial wage’ and would cost less than €310,000.
Labour Councillor Joe Costello, who lives locally to the site, said: “Dublin City Council has been considering regeneration proposals for O’Devaney Gardens since I was first elected to Dublin City Council back in the 1990s.
“Developers have come and gone, and the people of the North West Inner City have been scandalously neglected.
“As a local resident I am aware that Dublin City Council’s so-called O’Devaney Consultative Forum failed miserably to engage with the local community. If there had been meaningful engagement with the local community it is possible that this mess could have been averted.
“The City Council, now needs to go back to the drawing board and in consultation with the Minister for Housing and the Councillors come up with a proposal that the citizens of Dublin and the local community can have faith will deliver much needed affordable housing and a proper regeneration in O’Devaney Gardens.”