Thursday, 19 January 2023
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
234. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the current position in relation to the delivery of the outer relief road, including bridges, realignments and other road improvements in Maynooth, County Kildare; the extent to which such projects are progressing, given the urgent necessity for such works, that funding was made available almost ten years ago, and that the need has greatly increased in the interim; if he will urge an acceleration of the proposals in early date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2590/23]
The Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) is a scheme which funds the building of public infrastructure by local authorities. Its objective is to provide public off-site infrastructure to relieve critical infrastructure blockages to housing delivery. This enables the accelerated delivery of housing on key development sites in Dublin and in urban areas of high demand. LIHAF was designed to specifically address the issue of housing supply, a crucial factor in terms of moderating house prices. Infrastructure being funded under LIHAF includes access roads, distributor roads, link roads, road improvements, roundabouts, bridges and parks.
In 2017, grant agreements for 30 approved projects were signed between my Department and local authorities. One such project is for works at Maynooth, Co. Kildare.
Kildare County Council was approved grant funding for the construction of the Maynooth Eastern Relief Road (MERR) and a bridge crossing a railway and the Royal Canal. In 2017, the total approved grant funding for this project was €14.5m with €10.88m (75%) being funded by my Department and the remaining 25% being funded by Kildare County Council. To assist with design and construction cost inflation, Kildare County Council has been notified of additional Exchequer grant funding of €2.176m towards the cost of the works bringing the Exchequer LIHAF grant funding available to €13.076m (including VAT).
I am informed that developers are currently engaged in the planning process for the delivery of housing units on the LIHAF supported lands. Kildare County Council are liaising with a range of stakeholders, including my Department, to advance the MERR project, with these discussions currently ongoing. I am further informed that Kildare County Council on the 6th of December 2022 published the Maynooth Eastern Ring Road Compulsory Purchase Order 2022 and this process is ongoing.