Dublin City Council's strategic development zone, SDZ, master plan for the Poolbeg lands was approved in 2019. The SDZ will provide a much-needed 3,500 new homes on the site, as well as economic opportunity and social amenities. Thanks to a very determined campaign by the Irish Glass Bottle Housing Action Group, the SDZ plan includes a commitment to deliver 15% of these homes at affordable prices. As I am sure the Minister, Deputy Eamon Ryan, knows, that is in addition to the 10% social housing required under Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended.
It is absolutely vital that these affordable homes are delivered if the working people of Ringsend, Irishtown and the wider surrounding area are to have any hope of remaining living in their community. Property prices in this part of Dublin city have spiralled well beyond the reach of even well-paid local people. In fact, a quick scan of daft.ie for new and second-hand homes in Ringsend and Irishtown will reveal prices from €500,000 to €1 million. In order to ensure the homes built on this portion of the SDZ land are genuinely affordable, Dublin City Council wanted to buy the Irish Glass Bottle site from the National Asset Management Agency, NAMA, at a discount. In 2019, NAMA agreed and, in turn, Dublin City Council officials approached the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to approve the finance. NAMA offered land at a discount of between 40% and 60% of the full market value. This would have allowed the council to dramatically reduce the development cost and, in turn, the price for the affordable purchaser.
After a month of talks between Dublin City Council and the Department and a number of very detailed submissions from the council to it, the Department rejected the proposal and refused to fund the land purchase. In fact, I understand a last-minute intervention by a member of the NAMA board to the then Minister, Eoghan Murphy, failed to break the deadlock. Unfortunately, due to inaction by the then Minister, the Irish Glass Bottle site was rolled up with the larger Poolbeg lands and put on the open market. Ronan Group Real Estate, along with its financial backers, bought an 80% stake in those lands in 2020, at a significant increase on the guide price. Now Dublin City Council has to negotiate a deal with Ronan Group Real Estate for the delivery of the hundreds of homes the SDZ plan says must be affordable.
Dublin City Council's director of housing, Mr. Brendan Kenny, last week publically expressed concern at the prices Ronan Group Real Estate is likely to charge for those properties. There is now a genuine fear, not only in the city council and among councillors from all parties who supported the SDZ, but also in the wider community in Ringsend and Irishtown, that these affordable homes could well be lost.
Was the Minister aware that NAMA offered these lands at a discount to Dublin City Council? Does he agree it was a huge mistake for the then Minister with responsibility for housing and Deputy for the constituency, Eoghan Murphy, not to sanction the purchase of the Irish Glass Bottle site by Dublin City Council? Will he now support the local community which is urging his Government to ensure NAMA transfers its 20% land holdings in the Poolbeg SDZ to Dublin City Council to ensure the 600 to 650 affordable homes earmarked for the site will be delivered and sold at prices working people can genuinely afford?