Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1358)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

1358. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the role of the Land Development Agency in regard to the purchasing of vacant sites and units that have the potential for significant residential development; the arrangements that exist for the purchase of such sites prior to them being placed on the open market in circumstances in which the ownership is under the control of the State or a State agency or in cases in which the State has a long-standing relationship with the owner; and the plans of the Land Development Agency in regard to a site (details supplied). [12833/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Land Development Agency (LDA) is focused on managing State-owned land to develop new homes, and regenerate under-utilised sites. In the longer-term it will assemble strategic land banks from a mix of public and private lands, making these available for housing in a controlled manner which brings essential long-term stability to the Irish housing market with the objective of facilitating the delivery of 150,000 new homes over the next 20 years.

Following its establishment in September 2018, the LDA has had access to an initial tranche of 8 sites that have delivery potential for 3,000 new homes. The LDA has been progressing work on the State owned lands initially identified. It is also engaging with Government Departments and Semi-State bodies in relation to assessing a number of other potential development land opportunities and on approaches to State land acquisition and development.

In general, property disposals by State bodies require the approval of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The LDA works closely with that Department in order to identify suitable lands that could be vested in the LDA. Procedures are currently being developed requiring State bodies to liaise directly with the LDA; however, in practice, there is an ongoing direct dialogue between the LDA and State bodies through the course of the LDA’s business.

In accordance with a prior Government decision and the Grangegorman Development Agency Act 2005, proceeds from the sales of DIT properties will be fully invested in the development of the new Technological University (TU) Dublin campus at Grangegorman. Hence, the proceeds from these properties are effectively ring-fenced. As well as providing extensive education and health infrastructure, the Grangegorman development is a catalyst for significant urban regeneration in Dublin’s north inner city. Having regard to the requirement that the funds from the Kevin St disposal would be reinvested in the Grangegorman development, the acquisition of Kevin Street site by the LDA did not arise.