Sinn Féin - On Your Side

€1 million Killiney social housing agreement a cynical PR exercise

3 September, 2004

Sinn Féin representative in Dún Laoghaire, Michael Nolan has dismissed as nothing more than a "cynical PR exercise" the announcement of an agreement between both Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council and the developers of the former Killiney Court Hotel site in the south of the county, that some of the planned €1 million plus apartments would be made affordable or social housing.

Mr. Nolan was responding to reports (Irish Times 3rd August) that the Council and the developers had reached agreement that nine of the 44 apartments would be transferred to the council for social and affordable housing. Pointing out that the developers still had an option to provide the apartments elsewhere or to make a financial contribution to the council in lieu of the units Mr Nolan said it was clear that a get out clause was already agreed and in place for the developer.

He said:

"This announcement is nothing more than a cheap and cynical PR exercise. Given the past record of the Council we all know that the developers will have their day and there will be no social housing on this site. We also know given the Councils recent miserable attempt at securing affordable housing in Sandyford that people hoping to get a new apartment in Killiney will be forking out close to the million euro asking price, making a the notion of affordability a nonsense.

"Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council over the years has one of the worst records of any local authority in any part of the country in providing for the housing needs of its citizens. They continually bend over backwards to facilitate developers and in doing so are socially engineering a county council whereby ordinary working people are no longer able to live within its boundaries.

"Planning permission should never have been given for residential units on this land. It should have been maintained as a hotel and as such an amenity to both locals and tourists alike. This agreement between the Council and developers will not address the chronic housing shortage that exists in the Council area. Instead we will have another exclusive gated community which will do nothing to enhance the greater Killiney / Ballybrack area apart from driving the cost of houses ever more upwards.

"If the Council is to ever get on top of its housing crisis it needs to send out a very clear signal to all developers that the price to be paid in terms of permission for development is the provision of 20% of all residential development land or housing units for social and affordable housing. Anything less by the Council is a cop out and a failure of the people of Dún Laoghaire." ENDS

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