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Defence Forces Property

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 16 June 2011

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Ceisteanna (168)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Ceist:

169 Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence the consideration he has given to the disposal of land at the former Magee Barracks at Kildare town; his plans to honour the commitment given by his predecessors to award 10% of the land or 10% of the land value to the local community in the event of the property being disposed of by the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16019/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Defence)

The site of the former Magee Barracks in Kildare Town comprises some 64 acres.

On 30 July, 2002 the then Minister, at a meeting with public representatives, local interest groups and council officials agreed to dispose of 10 acres of the site free of charge for community gain and not 10% of the land or 10% of its value as intimated by the Deputy.

The then Government decided on 1 July 2003 that the former Magee Barracks in Kildare Town would be among the State lands released for inclusion in the Sustaining Progress Affordable Housing Initiative. On foot of this announcement Kildare County Council prepared a local area plan for the site, which encompassed a range of uses including community activities in accordance with the commitment of July 2002. The Department had been involved in the process of transferring ownership to Kildare County Council and a final Contract of Sale was sent to the Solicitors for Kildare County Council in 2009. However, the local authority subsequently contacted the Department to state that it no longer wished to proceed with the development and had no interest in taking possession of the property. The property now remains with the Department of Defence in its entirety. The property will be disposed of by the Department, taking account of the market conditions, so as to maximise the return to the Defence Forces. No decision has been taken as to when this is likely to be.

As the complete site was offered free of charge to the local authority I would consider that the Department has fulfilled the intent of the previous commitment.

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