O’Devaney Gardens – where things stand now.

UPDATE from Consultative Forum meeting tonight (21/2/18) which I chaired in Prussia Street Parish Centre:

  • Closed tender process for selection of contractor to build first 56 public homes to be completed by March. Assessment of tenders to be completed in April.
  • Selection of Contractor and start of on-site works in May 2018.
  • City Council finalising HLI dialogue process with potential developers for the rest of the site.
  • Work on building surveys on properties surrounding the O’Devaney site will begin across the coming weeks.

Just over 12 months ago, local T.D. and Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe announced that our Fine Gael-led Government was giving the O’Devaney Gardens redevelopment the go ahead by allocating almost €19m to fund the construction the delivery of the first tranch of public housing.

Much work has been done by Dublin City Council in the intervening period to advance the redevelopment. However, many Stoneybatter residents have been seeking an update from me as to the progress that is being made. In particular, residents have been eager to establish when a contractor will be on site starting work on building new homes. Therefore, I sought a detailed update from the Chief Executive of Dublin City Council on the status of project including indicative timelines for the tendering and procuring of design teams, contractors, planning timelines etc.

Earlier this month, the Chief Executive responded to my representations advising that:

A portion (56)  of the 20% social units to be built as part The O’Devaney Gardens Housing land Initiative site have been frontloaded for development and are being built directly by the City Council through a contractor, in the normal way. The design and the tender documents for these 56 units are now complete. The tender documents will issue by the end of next week, at which stage the statutory procurement timelines will come into play and will result in contracts being finalised by the end of Qtr. 1.

The overall site (including the 56 units) has the potential to yield over 585 mixed tenure residential units on the basis of a 30% social / 20% affordable / 50% private mix.

 The procurement procedure (Competitive Dialogue) for the development of the rest of the site is progressing – 6 prospective candidates have now been identified who will be invited via an Invitation To Participate in Dialogue (ITPD) to the next stage – the ITPD documents are currently being proofed by the NDFA and the Housing Land Initiative legal team and are scheduled to be issued (subject to approval of the Project Board) by February 28th.

 The time invested in the dialogue stage will depend on how many of the six candidates actually participate, as an indication, it is expected that the process will last at least three months (including statutory, standstill periods along with the actual dialogue and clarifications, etc.) before the Project Agreement will be finalised.

Both developments (the 56 units and the rest of the site) can then be progressed as per Planning Permissions, phasing and the Development Agreement between the parties. It is estimated that the entire project could be complete between 36 to 48 months thereafter.

I will be chairing the latest meeting of the O’Devaney Gardens Consultative Forum this evening in Prussia Street. I hope this update provides you with a clear timeline for the delivery of new homes on the redeveloped O’Devaney Gardens. Almost 590 new homes will be provided, with 50% owner occupier, 30% public housing delivered by Dublin City Council and the remaining 20% will be provided for Affordable Homes to buy through RebuildingIrelandHomeLoans.ie and a new concept of Affordable Rental.

Please email me at raymcadam@gmail.com if you have any particular questions or queries arising from the details outlined above.

Posted in Arbour Hill, Dublin City Council, Fine Gael, Grangegorman, Housing, Montpelier, North Circular Road, Planning, Stoneybatter | Leave a comment

Dublin City Neighbourhood Awards 2018

The Dublin City Neighbourhoods competition is run by the City Council to acknowledge in a meaningful way the work done across the city by communities to enhance their neighbourhood.

At a corporate level, the competition is used to foster a sense of civic pride, Place and community but also to promote environmental awareness.

Completed entries should be returned to Dublin City Council, Waste Management Services Division, 68/71 Marrowbone Lane, Dublin 8. Alternatively, applications can be emailed to Bernie.Lillis@dublincity.ie.

Good luck!

Posted in Arbour Hill, Ballybough, Church Street, City Centre, Clonliffe Road, Dublin City Council, East Wall, Grangegorman, Montpelier, North Circular Road, North Strand, North Wall, Phibsborough, Quays, Smithfield, Stoneybatter | Leave a comment

North Inner City Graffiti Removal – February 2018

Dublin City Council’s Public Domain Unit has been working in a number of ways to ensure that items of graffiti are removed across buildings and structures along the North Inner City.

The Council uses its own Waste Management Services in addition to its Corporate Contractor and the Probation Service to remove graffiti. Across the month of January, graffiti was removed from:

  • Cavendish Row, Dublin 1
  • O’Rahilly Parade, Dublin 1
  • North Cumberland Street, Dublin 1
  • Rutland Place, Dublin 1
  • Sheriff Street Upper, Dublin 1
  • Charles Lane, Dublin 1
  • North Circular Road, Dublin 1
  • Strandville Avenue, Dublin 3
  • Spring Garden Street, Dublin 3
  • West Road, Dublin 3
  • Church Road, Dublin 3
  • Dorset Street Upper, Dublin 7
  • Balls Lane, Dublin 7
  • Blackhall Street, Dublin 7
  • Rathdown Lane, Dublin 7
  • Henrietta Lane, Dublin 7
  • Brunswick Street North, Dublin 7
  • Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7
  • Arbour Hill, Dublin 7
  • Ard Righ Road, Dublin 7
  • Moira Road, Dublin 7
  • Godfrey Place, Dublin 7
  • Manor Street, Dublin 7
  • Sean McDermott Street swimming pool, Dublin 1
  • St. Mary’s Mansions, Dublin 1
  • Belvedere Avenue, Dublin 1
  • Fitzgibbon Court, Dublin 1
  • Oxmantown Road, Dublin 7
  • Parkgate Street, Dublin 8

If there are issues with graffiti on your street or avenue, please let me know and I will make arrangements with Dublin City Council for it to be removed.

Posted in Arbour Hill, Ballybough, Church Street, City Centre, Clonliffe Road, Dublin City Council, East Wall, Grangegorman, Montpelier, North Circular Road, North Strand, North Wall, Phibsborough, Quays, Smithfield, Stoneybatter | Leave a comment

Liffey Cycle Route – Update

At the February meeting of the City Council, I sought an update from Owen Keegan as to the current status of the proposed Liffey Cycle Route. In seeking that update, I asked the Chief Executive to share with me where the review currently being undertaken by the National Transport Authority stands and when does he envisage a report being circulated to Councillors.

Many Stoneybatter residents have been in touch with me seeking details of the report and when the review is expected to be completed.

Mr. Keegan responded to my enquiries this evening stating that the National Transport Authority has commissioned a consultant to review the many varied proposals for the Liffey Cycle Route. The Chief Executive anticipates that this review will be completed in April. Mr. Keegan and officials in the Transportation Department intend “to proceed with the scheme as soon as the option selection process is concluded.”

In response to the information I secured from the City Council, I have asked that the consultants undertaking this review to come before the North Inner City Area Committee, which I chair, so that local Councillors on behalf of Stoneybatter and other north-west inner city residents can tease out the results contained in any final report.

Posted in Church Street, City Centre, Dublin City Council, Phibsborough, Planning, Quays, Smithfield, Stoneybatter, Transportation | Leave a comment

New affordable housing measures will help build a sustainable future for North Inner City people – McAdam

New affordable housing measures will help build a sustainable future for North Inner City people, a Fine Gael Councillor has said.

Councillor Ray McAdam said the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan, Affordable Purchase Scheme and Affordable Rental Scheme will support people and families in our communities who are not eligible for social housing, but who also cannot afford to rent or buy their own home.

The Fine Gael Leader on Dublin City Council said: “I am delighted to welcome My Fine Gael colleague, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy’s announcement, guaranteeing that homes will be affordable for the buyer and renter.

“We are doing this in three ways- through the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan, the Affordable Purchase Scheme and the Affordable Rental Scheme.

“The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan is a new Government-backed mortgage for first-time buyers. It will be available from Dublin City Council from Thursday, 1 February 2018.

“The loan can be used both for new and second-hand properties, or to build your own home. In line with Central Bank rules, a person or couple can borrow up to 90% of the market value of the property.

Under the loan, they can choose a fixed rate of 2%-2.25% interest for 25 – 30 years, so they will have absolute certainty of their repayments over the lifetime of the loan.

“To avail of the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan, your annual gross income cannot exceed €50,000 as a single applicant, or €75,000 for joint applicants. There’s also a cap on the value of the home you can buy. In Cork, the maximum market value is €320,000.

“For example, a couple earning €75,000 and living in the North Inner City could afford to buy a home worth €320,000 provided they had €32,000 as a deposit between them.

“North Inner City applicants could then borrow €288,000 from Dublin City Council. Borrowers will pay a fixed interest rate of 2% to 2.25% for 25 to 30 years.

“A Home Loan Calculator is available on www.rebuildingirelandhomeloan.ie so you can get an idea of how much you could borrow and what the repayment rates might be. This website is now live.”

Councillor McAdam continued: “The new Affordable Purchase Scheme is a national scheme that will see affordable homes built initially on State land, in co-operation with local authorities.

“This will enable people to get a home of their own, supported by and in partnership with the State.  With local authorities providing the land at reduced or no cost to facilitate affordable homes, the price of the affordable house will be discounted and the State will retain an equity share in the house, relative to the discount from the full price.

“So for example, a house that costs €250,000 may be made available to purchase at €200,000.  The equity share can be paid off, interest free, by the purchaser at a later date.  Or if the owner wants to sell early, the State can take that portion back at the time of sale.

Councillor McAdam: “For renters, we recognise that we can do more, and so a further way of addressing affordability of homes is through an Affordable Rental Scheme.

“This will be done using a cost rental model. Cost rental means that the rent paid covers the cost of building the property, together with ongoing management and maintenance charges, but with a minimal profit margin included.

“This provides greater certainty around the rent, regardless of what is happening in the market.

“Fine Gael in Government is committed to strengthening communities and building a sustainable future. We are committed to supporting families and giving them a helping hand.

“Each of these innovations will facilitate the construction of thousands of new homes across the country at more affordable prices.”

Posted in Arbour Hill, Ballybough, Church Street, City Centre, Clonliffe Road, Dublin City Council, East Wall, Fine Gael, Grangegorman, Housing, Montpelier, North Circular Road, North Strand, North Wall, Phibsborough, Quays, Smithfield, Stoneybatter | Leave a comment

New online system to apply for a medical card – McAdam

The HSE has launched a new National Medical Card online service, http://www.medicalcard.ie.

This new service enables people to apply online for a Medical Card quickly and easily using a user friendly step by step process, a Fine Gael Councillor has said.

Councillor Ray McAdam believes the streamlining of applications will greatly benefit those who need medical cards here in the North Inner City.

“Users can find out if they are eligible for a Medical Card immediately, and if they are, their application will be processed in 15 working days.

“This online service conveniently allows applicants to scan and upload documents and other information, and no longer requires a visit to a GP to stamp paper forms.

“This new, streamlined service will bring great benefits for people in terms of turnaround times, convenience and security.

Fine Gael is committed to proactively support families in the North Inner City from our early days to our seniors years and to focus on prevention rather than intervention,” Councillor McAdam said.

Benefits of new National Medical Card Online service:

1. The online system guides you through each step of the application process.

2. Applicants can submit all supporting documentation digitally, including photographs of relevant material.

3. Your GP will be able to accept you onto their panel via the online system.

4. If the HSE needs to contact you about your application, they can email instead of writing to you.

5. When you have submitted your financial details as part of the online application, the HSE will tell you straight away if you qualify for a medical card.

6. Complete application will be processed in 15 working days.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said: “This is a very welcome new development by the HSE and is part of the ongoing streamlining and modernisation of the operation of the medical card scheme.

“Under the new system people will be able to make an online application for a medical card, which is faster and more convenient than the current paper based system.

“This puts the applicant at the centre of the process and I am sure will, in time, become the preferred method of application for many applicants, both first time and those seeking a renewal.  I would urge anyone who needs to apply for a medical card to log on to the new system and see how easy it is.”

Posted in Arbour Hill, Ballybough, Church Street, City Centre, Clonliffe Road, East Wall, Fine Gael, Montpelier, North Circular Road, North Strand, North Wall, Phibsborough, Quays, Smithfield, Stoneybatter | Leave a comment

So, just when will work start on the Royal Canal Greenway?

As you know, I have been repeatedly seeking confirmation from Dublin City Council that construction on the new Royal Canal Greenway begins. I sought further details at the January meeting of the North Inner City Area Committee yesterday (January 9th). Engineers have now advised the following, in respect of Phases 2, 3 and 4.

Phase II
Detailed design and production of tender documents has been completed for Phase 2 of the Royal Canal Greenway. These documents are due to be issued to the tendering contractors week commencing 8th January 2018. Commencement of construction will be dictated by the successful outcome of the tender procedure and also the securing of a third party approval agreement with Irish Rail. Council Engineers have stated that “this agreement cannot be finalised until the Commission for Railway Regulation have completed their review”, therefore it is envisaged that works will begin on site Quarter 2 or early Quarter 3 this year.

Phase III
Detailed design of Phase 3 has been completed and draft tender documents have been prepared and have been checked by the National Transport Authority & Dublin City Council. Following completion of updates and securing of agreements with Waterways Ireland and Irish Rail, the City Council is aiming for this phase to advance to tender in Quarter 1 and commence on site in Q3 this year.

Finally, some good news….Phase IV
The National Transport Authority has advised Dublin City Council that it may now proceed with the detailed design of phase 4 of the project. This has meant that tender documents are being prepared in advance of the procurement of a Consultant. Dublin City Council Engineers envisages that this process will be completed by the end of Q1 and that detailed design & tender preparation will follow and will be completed by end of Q4 2018.

So many dates have now been shared by the City Council with regards the start of construction work for the Royal Canal Greenway. Until a contractor is selected and on site, I will continue to monitor this project closely to ensure we these works start. The provision of a dedicated cycle and pedestrian greenway along the Royal Canal between Sheriff Street and Ashtown will a great addition for the communities of East Wall, North Strand, Ballybough, the City Centre, Phibsborough and Cabra to enjoy and benefit from.

Posted in City Centre, Clonliffe Road, Dublin City Council, East Wall, North Circular Road, North Strand, North Wall, Planning, Transportation | Leave a comment