In a statement this evening, People Before Profit councillor, Melisa Halpin, announced that she was delighted to get the backing of a majority of the councillors from Dun Laoghaire, Blackrock and Killiney–Shankill for a motion that sought to keep Georges’s Place Depot in public ownership to develop for public and affordable housing.
George’s Place Depot is a former council depot that has lain idle for over a decade. This land has a zoning that allows for residential but its town centre location and being adjacent to the Dart and sea means that it is highly valuable.
Cllr Melisa Halpin and her colleagues, Cllr Dave O Keeffe and Cllr Hugh Lewis, have previously attempted to have this site reserved for public and affordable homes, but until now they have not been successful.
The council management believe this site should be considered for sale in order to fund a programme of infrastructural and amenity works. While these works are very important they should not come at the expense of public housing.
Cllr Melisa Halpin said: “I am delighted that a majority of the councillors across the Dun Laoghaire constituency decided to back my motion to keep George’s Depot in public ownership. It is an utter disgrace that this land has lain idle for so long and we were horrified to discover, last month, that the management want to consider selling this land.
“This land, just off the main street of Dun Laoghaire town, could change the fortunes of the town and could provide much needed public and affordable housing in an area where anyone on an average income is being priced out of the market and where the housing waiting list is growing on a daily basis.
“The vote this evening will not be the end of the matter. At our full council meeting next week, the debate will continue as we discuss how to fund the council’s programme of amenity and infrastructural projects. While these projects are extremely important they cannot come at the expense of public and affordable housing. It will be significant that we have the vote of the Dun Laoghaire area committee behind us and now we will have to convince the councillors over in Rathdown that, in the current housing crisis, there should be no sale of public land that could provide housing.”