Councillors vote down social housing motion

by Emma Nolan

COUNCILLORS have voted at this week’s council meeting to build private housing on council-owned land.

At the meeting of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, a motion put forward by Cllr Hugh Lewis (PBP) in support of building social and affordable housing on council-owned land at Woodbrook-Shanganagh in Shankill was voted down by 40 votes to 7.

The motion read: “It shall be a priority of this Local Area Plan to substantially increase social and affordable housing across the area. To this end, the publicly-owned Shanganagh Castle lands shall be developed by the council for social and affordable housing.”

The majority of councillors voted against the motion and in support of a Labour party one that allowed a portion of private development on the site.

Speaking after the result of the vote, Cllr Lewis said: “Just how traumatic and deep does the housing crisis need to become before we support those in need of social and affordable housing?

“Our motion was a perfect opportunity to proceed ambitiously with a plan to build 600 new council homes.

“Instead of this, the council will now seek a public-private partnership and sell off a large portion of public lands to private developers in the disingenuous name of social integration.”

Speaking against the motion, many councillors agreed that housing developments should consist of a mix of private, social and affordable housing, creating a “social mix”, and they therefore voted against the PBP motion.

The council-owned lands at Shanganagh Castle and the private lands in Shankill are both zoned for future housing and will be served by a new Dart station, located between the current stations of Shankill and Bray.

It boasts the second-largest zoned land area for housing in Dun Laoghaire outside of Cherrywood.

Cllr Lewis added: “Is it a wonder the housing crisis is causing families such misery and havoc here in Dun Laoghaire when councillors refuse to build fully social and affordable homes on their own lands zoned for housing?”

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