We Will Build 550,000 New Homes in Cities to End the Hell of Commuting; NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Daily Mail (London), February 17, 2018 | Go to article overview

We Will Build 550,000 New Homes in Cities to End the Hell of Commuting; NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN


Byline: Senan Molony Political Editor

EOGHAN Murphy has acknowledged the need for more than 500,000 extra homes in barely 20 years or so - but failed to state exactly where they would be built.

The Housing Minister only went as far as saying half of new development in Dublin would be earmarked for inside the M50 motorway.

But he shied away from specifying previously designated growth areas such as Clongriffin and Adamstown or other areas.

Later he told the Irish Daily Mail that suburbs, land banks, brownfield sites and target towns and villages would be a matter for those who now draw up three regional plans on foot of the overall framework.

After that, it will go over to a new Regeneration Development Agency, which will plan acquisitions and the growth of individual areas. The agency will have up to 20 specialist staff and work with the Department of Housing and the Department of Rural Affairs, under Minister Michael Ring, as well as liaising with local authorities.

Officials fear that identifying localities too soon could lead to an influx of speculators aiming to make a killing, with the State willing to use CPOs - compulsory purchase orders - to take up parcels of property from private ownership.

The emphasis is on building on 'brownfield' sites in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterusing ford and Limerick. With one million extra inhabitants envisaged - and 550,000 new houses needed - the Government intends for half of the new population to go to the five cities - 250,000 to Dublin and about 50,000 to each of the others - with the remaining 500,000 fresh arrivals to grow up and live in towns, villages and rural areas outside the big centres.

Metropolitan areas will have to grow up and not out - meaning high-rise vertical development and brownfield infill estates in cities rather than further urban sprawl, according to Minister Murphy.

He said 230,000 people are currently having to commute for one hour to work in the morning and one hour home again. 'That's the equivalent of another day at work, every week,' he said.

Developing abandoned areas and rejuvenating city properties would keep people close to their work, revitalise centres of cities, towns and villages alike, and ease the pressure on our transport infrastructure, even as it expands to meet demand.

Asked to specify landbanks, brownfield sites and suburbs in the five cities that would now be earmarked for development, Mr Murphy failed to give specifics.

He said: 'One of the key aspects of this plan is compact growth - and that means building on brownfield and infill sites.' Asked to specify places, he said: 'Let's look at Dublin city. You are looking at 25% of future growth happening in Dublin.

'Half of that we want to have happen within the M50.

'We have to look at landbanks we own as a State, and owned by semi-states, and take those landbanks, using the new agency and some of the new funding to redevelop them and repurpose them for new populations.

'When the Taoiseach talks about Dublin growing inwards and upwards, that's what he's talking about.' He pledged that by 2021, about 12,000 new social homes would be built in every calendar year. 'Our ambition won't end there; it will continue every year until 2027. …

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