Tuesday, 9 April 2019
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
Private Rented Accommodation
A site adjacent to Central Bank Currency Centre in Sandyford, and owned by the Central Bank, was placed on the vacant site register by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in 2018. That site is bounded to the north by sports pitches and to the south by the M50 slip road. The Central Bank appealed its inclusion on the register and stated: "The site creates a security buffer enabling surveillance particularly of adjoining public roads." An Bord Pleanála accepted this argument in its decision and it became a vacant site. The Carmelites own a site of approximately 3.45 ha on Balllinteer Road which is valued at more than €21 million. They said that they had planning permission for a carpark on that site but it was never used as a carpark. An Bord Pleanála accepted that it was a vacant site because they had planning permission for it. That is nonsense because the Minister will not be able to catch the sites in this regard.
With regard to real estate investment trusts, REITs, I had an argument with the then Minister, Deputy Noonan, here on 16 January 2014 about what REITS would do to property in Dublin. I said they would drive rents up through the roof. He said it would not happen and that I was exaggerating, but it has happened. They have been an unmitigated disaster with respect to the supply of housing and rental properties. Why does the Minister not admit it?