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Ministers Coveney & Donohoe approve €17.9 million for O’Devaney Gardens

Published on Wednesday, 07 Dec 2016
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Ministers Coveney and Donohoe at O'Devaney Gardens

Simon Coveney, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., today (7 December, 2016) announced Stage 1 approval of the Regeneration Scheme for O’Devaney Gardens, during a site visit.

Approval in principle for Stage 1 provides for the construction of 56 social homes at a cost of €17.9 million.  This is the first phase of a mixed-tenure development which has been the subject of discussions between the Minister and the councillors to secure 30% social, 20% affordable and 50% private development of these lands of approximately 600 homes altogether.

O’Devaney Gardens however is just the first phase of this project which will include further development of the site, consisting of a further 54 social units, along with a mix of private and affordable units which is an integral part of the scheme in order to ensure a sustainable and vibrant community.

“I am pleased to be here this afternoon to approve the first phase of the regeneration of O’Devaney Gardens.  This will kick-start the regeneration of this area.  I am keen to see the development of this large site in the centre of Dublin City.  There is considerable potential to develop up to 600 homes on the site, of which up to 50% could be social and/or affordable units.  I am anxious for the City Council to progress this project at speed so we can re-energise this area.  Under Rebuilding Ireland we have a particular emphasis on achieving a mix of private and social housing so we don’t make the same mistakes as we did in the past with mono-tenure housing schemes.  The overall plan for this site will help us to achieve this, said Minister Coveney.

Minister Donohoe said, “It gives me great pleasure to join Minister Coveney in announcing Stage 1 approval of the Regeneration Scheme for O’Devaney Gardens today.   As a T.D. for Dublin Central, I know O’Devaney well.  The economic collapse, which delayed the regeneration of this and other PPP projects for a number of years means O’Devaney Gardens, and its residents, have suffered a number of set-backs and seen a few false dawns down through the years.  This Government has prioritised housing as the number one issue to be dealt with.  This has resulted in funds being made available to get essential projects such as this off the ground. Just a stone’s throw from Dublin city centre, the redevelopment of O’Devaney Gardens will, ultimately, provide a variety of much needed homes for hundreds of people.  Set in a mature part of Dublin that is well served by public transport, including the Luas, this development signals an exciting period ahead for the area and the surrounding local communities.  I look forward to the progress that will be made on Stage 1 and with Dublin City Council across the weeks and months ahead.”

ENDS

Note for Editors

O’Devaney Gardens
The previous housing scheme at O’Devaney Gardens was constructed in 1954 comprised of 278 residential units, located in 13 four-storey blocks, and consisting of 100% public housing all owned by Dublin City Council. By the 1990s a range of problems in the complex had developed and this led to a decision to demolish the housing stock there and to invest in the delivery of a sustainable regeneration programme.   O’Devaney Gardens was one of the six proposed PPP housing projects during the early part of this century that the Council wished to progress.

August 2005: Michael McNamara & Co. and Castlethorn Construction were chosen by the Council as the preferred bidder for the project.

May 2008:  Due to the changing economic climate, the City Council was not in a position to progress a number of projects that had been planned under Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements and it suspended its PPP programme.  With support from the Department, the City Council established a multi-disciplinary Special Housing Taskforce to examine alternative re-development options. Since then, the Department has worked closely with the Council in relation to proposals for a number of Council schemes, including O’Devaney Gardens.

December 2014: Options for refurbishment of the units and their use for homeless persons were examined but were not progressed.

July 2016: Rebuilding Ireland - The Action Plan for Housing & Homelessness
The Action Plan for Housing & Homelessness offers the potential for the re-development of O’Devaney Gardens in its entirety. It could be regarded as a flagship or Pathfinder project, showcasing the provision of large scale, mixed tenure housing in an inner city setting[1].

December 2016: O’Devaney Gardens Project – Stage 1 Approval in Principle
Stage 1 approval in principle for 56 social units in O’Devaney Gardens with a revised all-in budget of €17,859,976 has been approved. This site will be developed on a sustainable basis under Rebuilding Ireland with a blend of social, affordable and private homes. The Department will work with the Council to develop the remainder of the site in an innovative way as soon as possible.

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