Sir, – Both Lorcan Sirr and Tom Phillips make a compelling case for the redevelopment of dated industrial lands for housing in their debate (“Could industrial estates offer a solution to the housing crisis?”, Opinion & Analysis, January 16th).
In 2015, as part of a development plan review, I was one of several Dublin City councillors who formally proposed the rezoning of the Dublin industrial estate and underused lands for housing.
Unfortunately, our suggestions were seen by senior Dublin City Council officials as being premature and the proposal was put on the long finger.
Now that the proposal is back on the table, it is worth considering who will profit from the rezoning.
As it currently stands, the existing owners will pocket the gains in value of their lands due to rezoning.
This seems unfair, as the uplift is due to the actions of the local authority.
Back when the National Asset Management Agency Act was being drafted, the Green Party insisted that a clause was inserted that provided for an 80 per cent tax on any land rezoning.
Sadly, this provision (Section 649 B (3) of the 2009 Act) was deleted by Fine Gael when they passed Section 31 A (ii) of the Finance Act 2014, but it could easily be reinstated at the stroke of a pen.
Such a move might decrease the cost of providing new homes on rezoned lands by 25 per cent or more. Worth considering perhaps? – Is mise,
CIARÁN CUFFE MEP,