It is beyond infuriating that, as elected local representatives, we are trying to act in the public interest and are being frustrated at every turn
The capacity of Dublin City Councillors to shape the Dublin City Development Plan has been completely undermined by a Ministerial power grab, according to Social Democrats Councillor Catherine Stocker.
Cllr Stocker was commenting after the Office of the Planning Regular shot down a motion she submitted to the Dublin City Development Plan to create a new land-zoning use in which 80pc of residential development would be assigned social and affordable.
Cllr Stocker said:
“I submitted a motion to the development plan which would protect rezoned industrial lands for use primarily as social, cost-rental and affordable-purchase housing. This motion was supported by a majority of councillors on Dublin City Council and written into the draft development plan. A submission by the Office of the Planning Regulator on the draft development plan has now “required” DCC to remove the proposed zoning.
“This was a last-ditch attempt to provide adequate social and affordable housing in the face of government and ministerial policy which is hostile to it. As councillors, when we rezone, we are faced with the prospect of wall-to-wall build-to-rent which is unsuitable for building sustainable communities, has lower standards than build-to-sell development and is unaffordable to the vast majority of Dubliners.
“In the same submission the planning regulator shot down efforts by councillors to limit the number of build-to-rent developments within the city. In 2019 and 2020, 95% of all apartments built in Dublin were bought by institutional investors and the majority were built to substandard build-to-rent standards. People are crying out for homes and what they are getting are commodities.
“It is beyond infuriating that, as elected local representatives, we are trying to act in the public interest and are being frustrated at every turn. The planning regulator has deemed that my proposal, and others which sought make development in the city more sustainable and affordable, conflict with national policy and ministerial guidelines.
“It has reached the point where we need to consider whether, as elected representatives we should refuse to vote through the development plan, given Ministerial power grabs mean our input and role is completely undermined.”
27 February, 2022