Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (492, 493)

Dessie Ellis

Question:

492. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide a breakdown in tabular form of moneys spent on consultant fees relating to the Ballymun regeneration from its beginning to the present day. [5664/14]

View answer

Dessie Ellis

Question:

493. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 528 of 28 January 2013, if he will provide a breakdown of the areas on which the €755,399,650 was spent. [5665/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 492 and 493 together.

Ballymun Regeneration Limited (BRL) was established in 1997 with a 14-member Board of Directors drawn from the statutory, voluntary and community sectors in the area and charged with responsibility for implementing and managing the Masterplan and Integrated Area Plan for the physical, social and economic regeneration of Ballymun. Over the 17 years since its inception, BRL has overseen the procurement and implementation of up to 250 individual services and works contracts which have seen the delivery of over 3,000 new homes and key infrastructural development as well as substantial investment in social and economic interventions. As could be expected in a project of this size and complexity, outside consultants were engaged for the various planning, design and research activities.

The Masterplan set out an ambition to provide a variety of design responses to address legacy issues resulting from the failed uniform design responses achieved in the Ballymun of the 1960’s. In order to sustain this long-established community it was necessary to undertake demolition and rebuilding on a phased basis over an extended timeframe. This required specific design, operational and implementation responses according as the overall project progressed. As part of the original budget approval and in recognition of the scope and extent of the research and design element of the project, involving a range of disciplines including statutory planning, urban design, architecture, engineering, demolition, environmental, social and economic professionals and practitioners, my Department allowed for expenditure of up to 10% of overall project cost in this regard.

The detailed information sought in relation to the amounts spent on consultants’ fees across the full range of disciplines and a breakdown of the amounts recouped by my Department to BRL in respect of each of the contracts procured and implemented is not readily available in my Department and its compilation would involve an inordinate amount of staff time and resources. A significant element of these data is held by BRL. As the project has now reached substantial completion, I intend to request Dublin City Council to initiate a comprehensive Post Project Review of the overall regeneration project undertaken by BRL, detailing the outputs and costs in respect of the projects delivered, the impact of investment in social and economic regeneration, the lessons learned, how past investment can be protected and the overall sustainability of the regeneration project into the future. I will be happy to make this report available in due course.