The Commissioners of Public Works are the title holders of the Central Mental Hospital site in Dundrum which is expected to be transferred to the Land Development Agency for residential development. The site covers around 13.35 ha and is currently leased to the HSE for use by the Central Mental Hospital. In August 2019 the OPW facilitated the Land Development Agency by giving formal consent to it to prepare its planning application for the site to be developed for housing purposes. However, the transfer of the site is subject to the legislation underpinning the powers and functions of the Land Development Agency being put in place by my colleague, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Deputy Eoghan Murphy. In addition, the Land Development Agency is aware that any development on the site will depend on the relocation of the Central Mental Hospital to a new site in Portrane. I understand the HSE is working towards a target date of 2020 for the National Forensic Mental Health Service Hospital which will replace the Central Mental Hospital to become operational in Portrane. The site in Dundrum will have to be vacated by the HSE and the hospital before the Land Development Agency can begin substantial works.
Deputy Calleary said the supply of housing was in a "mess", but, in fairness, in recent years the Government has dealt with a mess it inherited and had to do a lot of work in that regard. While there are people on waiting lists for houses in local authority areas throughout the country, I assure the Deputy that I have met the Minister, Deputy Eoghan Murphy, and the Minister of State, Deputy English, on more than one occasion and that any land available that is at our disposal will, in the first instance, be made available to the local authorities, the HSE and the Department of Education and Skills. In this case we have the site of the Central Mental Hospital which is to be transferred to the Land Development Agency.