The Green Party has called for State Authorities to take action as Councils publish lists of vacant lands on their Vacant Sites Registers. The call comes as Dublin City Council publishes twenty-five entries on their Vacant Site Register which was initially published with an empty list in early January.
Green Party Councillor Ciarán Cuffe said:
“The Register is revealing: it shows that almost €80 million worth of valuable lands are lying vacant in Dublin City, and these twenty-five entries are only the tip of the iceberg. I have been informed by Council Officials that a further 174 sites came in under the size threshold. Many of these sites could be used to tackle the housing crisis.
Dublin City Council must now use its Compulsory Purchase Powers to acquire privately held sites that have been empty and vacant for far too long. We can then ensure that they are used to provide housing by ourselves or others. The Council must also put its own house in order and make better use of Council owned lands. Senior Management must review their very conservative approach to determining whether a building and /or site is derelict or vacant and take a more proactive approach to dealing with owners.
I am calling on the Minister for Simon Coveney to review the size threshold so that smaller sites are included. He should also increase the levy so that the annual payment is significantly higher than the increases in land costs that we have seen in recent years. There is still a danger that land owners will hold onto their holdings after the levy kicks in 2019, as owners can make more profit from the rise in land value than they might if they were to sell. This is a slap in the face to homeless families, and the Urban Regeneration & Housing Act 2015 must be reviewed and its powers strengthened.
“While greater measures are needed to push private land owners into action, it is also revealing how much vacant land is controlled by the Health Services Executive, the Office of Public Works and state agencies including Dublin City Council. Much of this can be attributed to the impact of the recession, but this is no longer an excuse for inaction.
“Vacant and derelict sites such as the lands owned by Dublin City Council in Dublin’s Liberties at the corner of Marshal Lane and Bridgefoot Street must be developed. If the Council can’t develop these sites, than we should sell them on to someone or some body that can, and we should prioritise affordable housing on such sites.
“It is unacceptable for anyone to leave vacant lands empty in our towns and cities in 2017. Such lands can, and must be used to tackle the homeless crisis that has left thousands of families homeless.”.
Page first published 03April2017, last updated 03April2017
The Green Party has welcomed the extension of 30 km/h speed limit zones in Dublin’s Inner City stating that this is an important step towards creating calmer communities.
Councillor Carán Cuffe who chairs Dublin City Council’s Transport Committee said:
“This is a good day for those who live in the 30 km/h speed limit zones. In addition to saving lives the new speed limits will allow more children to walk and cycle, and play outside. The new signs not only display the speed limit, they also feature an image of a car playing ball. This sends out a clear message that streets are for people, as well as cars.
“As drivers we all have to play our part in slowing down and making our communities safer. Not only will these measures reduce deaths and injuries on our roads, they will also make our streets more sociable places. These measures aren’t just about road safety, they are about fostering a new pride of place in our city. We can all contribute to this.
“It is important however to stress the safety benefits. One fifth of road deaths are caused by excessive speed and over half of those fatalities being pedestrians. Twenty one people died on Dublin’s roads last year. Extending lower speed limits can contribute to lower casualties in future years. Studies show that pedestrians have a 90% chance of surviving a car crash at 30km/h or below, but less than a 50% chance of surviving an impact at 45 km/h*.
“As we unveil these new speed limits I want to pay tribute to the work of Roseann Brennan who lost her three year old son Jake who was struck by a car outside his home in Kilkenny on 12th June 2014. Her campaigning role, along with that of the Dublin Cycling Campaign and the ‘Love30’ group has contributed to our work. ‘Jake’s Legacy’ will be safer streets and more livable communities.
“Our research has shown that these new speed limits have 80% approval in the areas where they are being unveiled, and will add at most a minute to car journey times. The signs themselves cost between €300,000 and €350,000. The Dublin Fire Brigade tell us that the cost of a serious collision is €1,500,000. This initiative will pay for itself in no time.”
“Other European cities such as Paris, London and Edinburgh have rolled out are-wide 30 km/h speed limits in recent years. We are now joining this club of progressive European cities cities that believes people, and communities are more important than cars.
Released 31Mar17, page last updated 30Mar17