Friday, 24 October 2014

Brady critical of deal with developer to take financial contribution instead of 20% social housing

Wicklow Sinn Féin Councillor John Brady has expressed deep disappointment that the largest residential development in North Wicklow for number of years was given the go ahead by the council without any provision for social housing. The council took a decision to take a financial contribution in the development in Bray instead of a 20% provision of social housing.

Speaking about the decision taken by Bray Town Council before it's abolishment councillor Brady said "I'm shocked and extremely disappointed that in the midst of a housing crisis the council in Bray would decided to take a financial contribution as opposed to taking the badly needed 20% social housing which it's entitled to under Part V of the Housing Act. The deal appears to have been struck in 2012, however Councillors were only informed at a recent council meeting following questions from myself."

Brady continued "The development on the Herbert Road in Bray will see 24 houses and 24 apartments constructed. It is the largest residential development to take place in North Wicklow for the last 5 years, and could have seen up to 9 social housing units if the council took the 20% social housing allocation in the development. Unfortunately the council decided to use a mechanism in the planning legislation to allow the developer pay a levy instead of providing the social houses."

"We are in the middle of a housing crisis due to the flawed housing policies of Fine Gael and Labour who are refusing to build any new social housing. The result of that is here in Wicklow we have up to 3,000 families on housing lists, nearly 1,000 in the Bray area alone. The provision of 9 housing units in this development would have given some hope to a few families that are badly in need of housing, some of which whom are currently homeless. It would have also shown that the council is treating the crisis as a reality and one it's doing everything in its power to address."

Brady concluded "Unfortunately the council in Bray decided to strike a deal with a developer a take a financial contribution that will go into a black hole in the council coffers. The only thing this decision does is allows the developer make more money selling the housing units due to the fact they are an exclusive development which is social housing free. I'm deeply disappointed at this bad decision taken by the council and it begs the question is the council serious about tackling the housing crisis. Thankfully the Minister is currently looking at changing to legislation and possibly removing the ability of developers to buy their way out of providing social housing." Ends

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