Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Select Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government

Land Development Agency Bill 2021: Committee Stage (Resumed)

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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I wish to make a couple of points. I have said to members that they should read the purposes of the Act section in its entirety because each of the points in it are related. In many instances what is being proposed by the speakers would perpetrate segregation by insisting on mono-tenure or purely public housing on public land. We cannot have it both ways. We need a mix of affordable purchase.

I agree completely on the design point. It should not be a question of a different design or an apportionment of an area when we state that the area is designated for social or affordable housing. Deputy O'Callaghan's party and Deputy Ó Broin's party voted against a scheme in Donabate for 1,200 homes. All the homes are pepper-potted within it, and rightly so. There is no difference between any of the homes. Areas of the estates are not picked.

I fully understand the phrase "undue segregation" and where it is in legislative terms. It appears in other planning Acts as well. I have said I will look at that. I certainly do not want segregation in housing and I would not stand over it. That is what this legislation ensures. The aim is that State agency land is available to all people. That is what it does. It does not say that there has to be an estate purely for social housing. In itself, that would perpetrate segregation by having a whole estate set aside as a social housing estate. We should all want to move away from that.

I have explained already and I have no wish to keep going back and forth. I respect the fact that Deputies have gone to the trouble of tabling amendments. I will not be accepting them but I will come back on Report Stage with regard to the phrase mentioned, "undue segregation". In fairness, there may be a misunderstanding of what we would actually do within this. It would be perpetrating segregation of one part of our community from another part of our community.

We would simply be saying that State and public land can only be for a certain type of housing. That is not something I could agree with and I do not think that anyone should agree with it.