Drop in number of social housing units ‘disgusting’

by Emma Nolan

THE NUMBER of social housing units to be built in a new Dun Laoghaire development has sparked anger.
The Cualanor development in Honey Park is located on part of the old Dun Laoghaire Golf Club and consists of over 1,400 new housing units.
The original planning permission granted to Cosgrave Developers by the council was granted on planning regulations that guaranteed any such developments allocate at least 20% for the social and affordable housing list.
When Cosgrave were initially granted planning permission for the project about 10 years ago, it was agreed that 20% of the units be made council owned social housing.
However, the company which has since been acquired by NAMA has decided to reduce this number to 10% in line with new planning regulations.
The amount of units that were to be procured by the council was 248 but new legislation last year means that they will only get 124 units.
This has angered politicians as the housing list has grown from about 2,000 families to nearly 6,000 families and individuals on the council housing waiting list.
However, the council say that the agreement with the developers of the Northern Lands Golf Club site was for 124 social units provided on site and they confirmed that there has been “no change to this agreement”.
But People Before Profit maintain that 20% was agreed initially.
Local TD Richard Boyd Barrett has condemned the “sweetheart deals” aimed at large companies.
He said: “Given the scale of the housing crisis we must demand a much higher proportion of housing is developed for the purpose of social and affordable homes rather than enforcing these sweetheart deals that are aimed at allowing developer a higher profit margin than providing some relief for the biggest problem facing Dun Laoghaire.”
People Before Profit councillor Melisa Halpin, who said she is approached by families in need of housing every day, told The Gazette that she thinks the situation is “disgusting”.
“It is disgusting that a NAMA developer can both profit off the sale of homes to the council and get away with only half of the units that was planned for in the original permission granted,” she said.
“The Government would rather allow a greater profit for NAMA developers by guaranteeing a pitiful 10% of the development to the social housing list.”
Cosgrave Developments did not respond to The Gazette at the time of going to print.

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