Thursday, 18 February 2021
Land Development Agency Bill 2021: Second Stage (Resumed)
I have been a building contractor all my life. When the Land Development Agency, LDA, was launched in 2018, it was to have two functions, namely, to manage State lands strategically to ensure they were being put to the best use, and to deliver 150,000 homes over 20 years. Those are the functions the agency should have managed.
As I said, I have been in construction all my life. I have been a local councillor in the Adare-Rathkeale district. We also have the Kilmallock and Newcastle West districts in our rural area. If the LDA gets this through, it will destroy rural areas because the LDA will not look at areas that have poor infrastructure.
I spoke recently about a housing estate being built in Hospital, County Limerick. While 15 of the houses were able to connect to the local sewerage system, the other six had to connect to a private sewerage system. What we will see is that the LDA will look at areas that have sewerage infrastructure. The last agency that was set up was Irish Water and we can see what happened with that. It was an absolute disaster. When the council was looking after the water system, there were no issues. One might as well try to get through to the President as try to get through to Irish Water to get anything done. Water infrastructure was in big trouble. The LDA, if it takes over, will forget about rural areas. The 2040 plan being introduced will stop houses being built in rural areas. I was born, grew up and have raised my family in a rural area. I and my family, friends and relatives and anyone in the community should be allowed to build in our own area.
Is somebody talking in the background? I can hear feedback.