Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Grand Canal.

45.

Mr. O'Leary

asked the Minister for Local Government whether he is aware that perfectly sound houses are being demolished along the banks of the Grand Canal by developers who are speculating on the near certainty that the canal will be covered in; and whether he has any power to prevent this kind of speculation.

I am aware that a number of residential properties along the Grand Canal which were located in an area zoned by Dublin Corporation for mixed residential and office use have been demolished to make way for proposed new office development. I have no information that the proposed development is related to any speculation about the future of the canal.

As regards the last part of the question, I have no power to prevent the demolition of such buildings. Planning permission for the demolition of buildings is not required except in the case of buildings proposed for preservation. The temporary provisions of the Housing Act, 1948, which gave housing authorities power to control the demolition and use of dwellings lapsed at the end of 1962.

I have been concerned for some time past with the loss of housing which has been taking place in Dublin as a result of redevelopment schemes, usually involving new office buildings, and, when I met a deputation from Dublin Corporation last December to discuss general housing questions, I raised the matter with them and asked them to consider whether new measures were needed to preserve the existing stock of dwellings having regard to the present shortage. On 17th January, 1966, the City Council adopted a report containing a recommendation that the control provisions of the Housing Act, 1948, should be re-enacted. I am at present considering this proposal.