Workers’ Party argues legal advice contradicts unsupported claims by council officials that mixed income public housing goes against planning guidelines
Workers’ Party councillor Éilis Ryan has called on Sinn Féin to publish the legal advice they sought in August in relation to O’Devaney Gardens before pushing ahead with a motion to overturn plans for 100% public, mixed income housing on the site.
A number of Sinn Féin, Fine Gael and Labour councillors have placed a motion to rescind the public housing proposal agreed for the site last July on Thursday night’s council agenda – including many councillors who voted for the same proposal just six weeks ago.
Cllr. Ryan said:
“The councillors state in their motion that they are voting to overturn the public housing proposal on the basis of advice from council officials that it contravenes planning guidelines. However we have received advice that this argument has no legal basis.
“Our legal advice indicates that our proposal – which supports and includes the importance of building mixed income communities – is entirely compatible both with national and local planning guidelines, and with planning permission for the site.”
Cllr. Ryan said she believed that councillors were being conned into a public land giveaway by a right-wing government opposed to building public housing.
“We believe Minister Coveney is using planning arguments as a dishonest excuse to hand public land over to private developers. This is unsurprising from a Fine Gael Minister.
“However we are disappointed to see fellow councillors following suit. We are calling on Sinn Féin to publish the legal advice they sought in August in relation to the site, in order to inform a debate about what is really possible on O’Devaney Gardens – and to stand up to Fine Gael blackmail.”
The full text of the motion to be put before Thursday’ Dublin City Council meeting is as follows:
“Motion submitted by Lord Mayor Brendan Carr and Councillors Seamas McGrattan, Janice Boylan, Larry O’Toole, Míchéal MacDonncha, Ciarán O’Moore, Noeleen Reilly, Cathleen Carney Boud, Anthony Connaghan, Daithí Doolan, Greg Kelly, Ray McHugh Alison Gilliland, Dermot Lacey and Ray McAdam pursuant to Section 30 of Standing Orders – “The City Council hereby rescinds Motion No 36 on O’Devaney Garden adopted by City Council on 25th of July 2016. The motion as passed is not consistent with City Council plans or Government policy. This Council supports the provision of 30% social & 20% affordable and cost rental on the site and calls on the Chief Executive to expedite the comprehensive development of the site”