Greens call for Government to act on NAMA warning

The Green Party has called on Government to heed NAMA’s warning on Land Hoarding, and implement legislation to ensure speculators cannot hold on to zoned land suitable for housing.

The call comes as the head of NAMA Brendan McDonagh criticises the practise of landowners hoarding sites which should be used for housing at the launch of their annual report.

The Green Party’s Councillor Ciarán Cuffe said today: “It is extraordinary that NAMA disposed of enough land to build 50,000 homes, but only 3,000 units are under construction.

“At a time when interests rates are at an historic low point, and as thousands of families struggle in temporary accommodation it is immoral that the Government is failing to build sufficient housing to tackle the scale of the crisis.

“The Government’s Vacant Sites Levy is being laughed at by land hoarders who watch the value of their holdings increase by double digits every year as thousands suffer in homelessness.

“Fine Gael must grasp the nettle of housing supply and ensure that banks lend, and that land is used for appropriate uses. It is shameless that the Government voted down the Green Party’s legislation to tackle land hoarders and derelict sites, and then cries wrings its hands at the problem.

“For many years we have advocated a Site Value Tax that would discourage land hoarding. This would ensure that fallow lands in or beside our cities and towns would be developed for appropriate uses. It would also encourage owners of empty buildings to maintain and tenant them, or face a penalty.

“The Government must also make it easier for Councils to build homes. Currently they must consult with the Department of Housing at least four times, and this means it can take over four years for a local authority home to be constructed. The Government’s own red tape must be reduced.”

ENDS

Page published 1st June 2017, last updated 1st June 2017

Green Party welcomes 30km/h Calmer Communities

The Green Party has welcomed the roll-out of further 30 km/h zones in residential areas in Dublin City from midnight on Tuesday 30th May 2017.

New 30 km/h speed limits will be introduced in Sandymount, Crumlin, Drimnagh, Raheny, Artane, Donaghmede, Drumcondra, Glasnevin and Phibsborough. In most cases the new speed limits do not apply on arterial roads, but are being introduced on predominantly residential roads and streets.

The chair of Dublin City Council’s Transportation Committee Councillor Ciarán Cuffe said: “This will create calmer communities where children will be safer walking and cycling to and from school and the shops. The changes will also help older people who are often afraid to walk due to fears of speeding traffic. This initiative will encourage people of all ages to walk and cycle, and get more exercise.

“This initiative follows the lead set by other cities around Europe such as Edinburgh, London and Copenhagen that have already introduced area-wide speed reductions. The evidence from these cities shows that 30 km/h zones work and help create calmer communities for all.”
ENDS

Page uploaded and last updated 3oth May 2017

Cuffe welcomes BusConnects initiative

The Green Party has welcomed the announcement that the National Transport Authority is carrying out a review of bus services in Dublin. However, it said more needs to be done to connect buses with other modes of transport.

The Green Party Transport spokesperson Councillor Ciarán Cuffe said: “The BusConnects initiative is a step in the right direction, but what we really need is an integrated transport network. That means making it easier to transfer from one bus to another, and also to transfer between Luas, DART and commuter rail. Seamless connectivity is the key, and is needed between all forms of transport.

“This review promises a better bus service, but fails to provide funding for an increase in Dublin’s bus fleet. We need more buses and lower fares to tackle congestion on our roads. Dublin’s fares are higher than many similar cities elsewhere Europe, and many buses are overcrowded during peak periods.

“The announcement of low-emission vehicles is welcome, but is clear than no final decision has been made on this. Minister Ross has an opportunity to provide leadership in rolling out all-electric and hybrid vehicles.

“Ultimately Minister Ross must provide the funding to deliver on the changes proposed today. Without a strong voice at cabinet, it risks gathering dust once completed.”

ENDS

Page published and last updated 29th May 2017