Minister yet to meet with developer over controversial plan for 'affordable' housing scheme at O'Devaney Gardens site
HOUSING Minister Eoghan Murphy has not met the preferred bidder behind the controversial plan to redevelop O’Devaney Gardens, it has emerged.
Dublin City Council was earlier this month scheduled to vote on a proposal to hand over a large swathe of publicly-owned land at the north Dublin site to Bartra Capital which would build 769 homes on it – 411 to be sold privately.
The vote was postponed after it became clear it was unlikely to pass due to various concerns among councillors, including the price of “affordable” housing at the site.
This was listed in price brackets up to €420,000.
Council deputy chief executive Brendan Kenny later claimed no affordable home would cost more than €320,000 at the site.
This was at odds with the figures in Mr Kenny’s own report, which listed four "affordable" three-bedroom apartments, with the prices ranging from between €360,000 to €420,000.
In a four-page letter to Dublin Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe ahead of the meeting, Mr Murphy said funding would be lost from the department if councillors decided not to approve the project. Councillors agreed to suspend the vote pending a meeting with the minister.
Asked if it was likely that any changes would be made to the proposals when the minister and councillors met, a spokesman confirmed he had not met Bartra.
“The minister hasn’t been in contact with the developer for the site,” a spokesperson told Independent.ie.
“The minister has offered to meet a delegation of councillors from Dublin City Council before the council considers the proposal being advanced by the Executive at a future meeting.
“We are in the process of arranging a meeting,” he said.
He said the department noted that the council executive estimated any fundamental reconsideration of plans, which would include any large-scale change in tenure type on the site, would require another five years before plans could be developed to reach the stage that the project is at currently.