Dáil debates

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Planning and Development (Amendment) (Large-scale Residential Development) Bill 2021 [Seanad]: Second Stage


2:50 pm

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance) | Oireachtas source

It must be a meaningful Committee Stage.

The point made by Deputy Nash about dereliction is absolutely right in the current circumstances. We should use the opportunity to do something about dereliction. I was shocked by the findings of a new report about the level of dereliction in Dún Laoghaire. The amount of dereliction on the main street in Dún Laoghaire drives people insane. We were put out of the office I had on the main street in Dún Laoghaire on the basis that it was being sold to somebody else. It was very difficult to find the new owner. We went to the new owner and asked if we could rent it out but were refused for whatever reason. That was two years ago and it is still lying empty with not a sign of movement. That is typical of what is going on. The upper storeys of that building are perfectly suitable for residential accommodation if the money were put into it.

Radical measures need to be taken to ensure that is simply not allowed. Refurbishing the derelict property that is already there has far less impact on the environment, CO2 emissions and so on. However, people are sitting on it for speculative and other reasons. There are no excuses in the case of the office we tried to rent back. It has a new owner and yet it is lying empty, as are apparently 350 properties on the main street in Dún Laoghaire, a figure I could not believe. Measures to address that problem should be included in this legislation because it is an absolute emergency.

We will support the legislation, but we will be tabling amendments and I hope the Minister will take them seriously. I hope he will give us time to put in more amendments and have proper scrutiny of this vital legislation on Committee Stage.


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