Dublin City Council has confirmed in a leaflet distributed to residents adjoining the Ballymun Rapid Housing project site that the units being developed will in be “timber frame homes with the ground floor having a brick finish to the front and back of the house.” The leaflet states that this will be similar to “existing houses on the adjoining Balbutcher Lane”.
The council state that “the new houses will be constructed to the normal standards and will be compliant with all current building control and fire safety regulations. The new homes will be A-energy rated.”
Welcoming the information, Dublin City Councillor Paul McAuliffe said “This standard is significantly in excess of those which councillors saw at the Fairview Fire station in September. I look forward to seeing them in person but it appears they will be similar to other timber frame homes built throughout the area in the last 10 years.”
For these sites to be successful they must be sustainable with a good social mix. There will be 22 two-storey, three-bedroom timber framed-houses built at Baile Na Laochre and the City Council is currently in negotiations with a local Housing Co-op to develop 50 affordable owner occupied homes on the site. This basic planning principle of mixed tenure must be replicated on other sites across the city, if they are to be successful. In the midst of a housing crisis we cannot repeat the planning mistakes of the past. We also need to see the council identify sites in other parts of the city where social housing can be provided rather than focusing all provision in areas like Finglas and Ballymun.
Review of 18 month licence to families
Given these higher standards, I am calling on the Council to re-examine if the proposed 18 month licence is still appropriate. We know that the housing shortage will not be solved in 18 months and if these homes are akin to traditional timber frame homes, then we need to give families and communities greater security. I will be placing an emergency motion at next Monday’s City Council meeting, calling for the Manager to review these short term licences which could lead to transient communities with no long term commitment to the area.