Victory For St. Anne’s Park

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People Before Profit’s Cllr John Lyons Welcomes An Bord Pleanala’s Decision to Reject Development Which Would Have Destroyed St. Anne’s Park

Cllr Lyons calls on Dublin City Council to immediately begin building the 18,000 social and affordable homes on its lands zoned for residential purposes

People Before Profit’s Dublin Bay North representative stated today that the plan to develop a new housing estate on a site adjacent to St. Anne’s Park should have been rejected from the outset:

“The lands at St. Paul’s are zoned for community use and are rightly regarded by many as an integral part of St. Anne’s due to the range of community sports and leisure activities that have occurred on that site over many years.”

The planning application, according to Cllr Lyons, was one of the first to be filed under the highly undemocratic “fast-track” Strategic Housing Development programme introduced by the Fine Gael-led government which sought to diminish the ability of citizens and representatives alike to meaningful engage in the planning process:

“I would allege that the “fast-track” system was introduced to facilitate the progression of developer-led proposals over the concerns of local people and against best planning practice. This is why the action taken by the I Love St. Anne’s campaign to take a Judicial Review to the decision by An Bord Pleananla to initially grant the application, was so very important: if a developer was allowed to destroy a community amenity that was not zoned for residential use on a site right next to the truly wonderful St. Anne’s Park, it would have seriously undermined the Dublin City Development Plan, would have run roughshod over local consultation and would have sent an encouraging signal to other developers eyeing up community and sporting sites for residential development. The impact on communities across Dublin of such a scenario unfolding would be devastating.”

Noting the lack of interest from the private sector in addressing the housing crisis unless there is significant profit to be made, noting too that relying on market forces to express an interest in developing city council-owned sites is delaying the development of homes by up to four years, Cllr Lyons is calling on Dublin City Council to immediately engage in a programme of social and affordable home construction on the residential lands in its ownership and under its control which have the capacity to provide 18,000 new dwellings:

“We have the lands zoned for residential use, we are repeatedly told by central government that money isn’t an issue yet no housing is being built. Zero social houses were built by Dublin City Council in the first six months of this year. There is a refusal by government to move away from the private developer-led approach which has failed in the past, is failing Dubliners now and is doomed to prolong the housing crisis for many years to come. This must change.”

Ends