Written Answers - Social and Affordable Housing.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 649 No. 1

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  544.  Deputy Enda Kenny  Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny   asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government  Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley   if he has had discussions with the affordable homes partnership with regard to their proposed development at a location (details supplied) in County Dublin; if he has plans for this site; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8768/08]

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  545.  Deputy Enda Kenny  Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny   asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government  Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley   the progress made with regard to providing a national park on the lands at a location (details supplied) in County Dublin; the discussions he has had in relation to this aim; the parties he has had these discussions with; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8769/08]

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Deputy John Gormley): Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  I propose to take Questions Nos. 544 and 545 together.

The development plans of the relevant local authorities provide the primary land use protection policies for the Liffey Valley. In addition, parts of the Valley are already covered by special designations. The area between Chapelizod and Lucan is protected by a Special Area Amenity Order, and part of the valley is designated as a proposed Natural Heritage Area.

As indicated in the reply to Question No. 1357 of 30 January 2008, it is an objective of South Dublin County Council’s current Development Plan to investigate the feasibility of extending the Special Amenity Area Order to further lands, including part or all of St Edmundsbury and Woodville lands. The extent and location of the land to be covered by any such Order would be affected by the measures required to give effect to the recommendation of the Affordable Homes Partnership to use lands at St Edmundsbury and Woodville for affordable housing. In that regard, the County Council has progressed a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Development Plan variation recommendation, on foot of which I understand the matter is currently the subject of further discussions between the Partnership and the landowner concerned.

The making available of additional lands for affordable housing is a matter of priority for the Government. In that context, guidelines under section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 were issued in August 2006 in support of the “Call for Lands” process. The advancing of individual sites within the process is a matter for the Partnership, the promoters of individual proposals and the relevant local authority.

Equally, the protection of the Liffey Valley which is a major amenity for the people of Dublin and the extension of the SAAO are objectives which I share.

On the broader question of the provision of a national park in the Liffey Valley, the practice to date has been that only State lands are included in National Parks. I will be considering this in relation to overall policy for National Parks as it applies throughout the country and I am eager to hear views on this matter from interested parties.


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