December 6th, 2016 saw the Irish Glass Bottle (IGB) Housing Action Group launch its own plan for the IGB portion of the Poolbeg Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), an area designated for development and considered to be of ‘economic and social importance to the state’.
The Housing Group is a non party political group of locals who have been campaigning for the NAMA-controlled IGB site to be used primarily to provide social and affordable housing to address local housing needs, as opposed private development projects for the housing market.
The document was launched at an event at the Mansion House, Dawson Street, by Dr. Rory Hearne. The event was attended by journalists, political party reps and independents, and representatives from Windmill Lane studios, who had proposed the building of a new studio in the SDZ.
The group’s plan calls on the government and NAMA to transfer the IGB site to Dublin City Council (DCC) for use in building mixed tenure housing to address specific local housing needs such as student rental, long-term rental and facilities for older residents.
The plan would see 25% of the IGB site allocated to properties for the housing market with the remaining 75% divided between local authority rental units and innovative community and cooperative housing projects. The IGB Housing Action Group plan proposes the setting up of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) group within DCC to manage and coordinate the development of the site.
The group was invited to present the plan to Councillors at City Hall on January 13th and a spokesperson confirmed to NewsFour that it had received an enthusiastic reception by all present.
Arising from that meeting, the group reported on social media that local Sinn Féin councillor, Chris Andrews, commented that Sinn Féin would not be supporting a plan for the site that only included 10% social housing, and that the social housing provision must be “multiples of that.” Sinn Féin TD, Eoin O’Brion, further invited the group to an information meeting at Leinster house on January 17th.
Speaking to NewsFour, Patsy Doolan of the IGB Housing Action Group spoke of the “very positive response” coming from DCC and others arising from the launch of the group’s plan, although she cautioned that they would continue “to take it with a pinch of salt” until the finalised development plans for the IGB site had been released. Explaining the group’s passion for the proper development of the site, and the site’s importance to the community, she said: “This is the last piece of land in the area that we feel we’ll have any say in. It’s of great importance to the communities in the locality and surrounding areas.”
A pamphlet outlining the IGB Housing Action Group plan for the site is available for download from their Facebook page at Facebook.com/IGBhousing or readers can message the group via the page to recieve a PDF version of the document.
By Harry Bradley