Saving the Poolbeg Chimneys is only the first step –

Saving the Poolbeg Chimneys is only the first step

 

 

Green Party councillors in Dublin are calling for a wider focus in discussions around the Poolbeg Chimneys. Saving the iconic landmarks is only the first step in the regeneration of the whole area. An emergency motion is to be put to Dublin City Council by Cllr Patrick Costello and Cllr Claire Byrne tonight, calling for an urgent local area plan to be drafted that will both protect the towers and push the redevelopment of the surrounding area.

 

Speaking today, local councillor Patrick Costello stated: “The refurbished Poolbeg chimneys will be a centrepiece for the whole bay, and can be a centrepiece of a redeveloped Poolbeg. By saving the chimneys and protecting this piece of architectural heritage we can set the tone for the whole development of this fantastic asset for Dublin.”

 

Councillor Claire Byrne stated: “The Glass Bottle site still lies empty, despite the city’s desperate need for housing and modern office space. It is just one of the many prime development areas around the capital that is being overlooked, and we’re calling on the Council to act quickly in order to save the chimneys, as well as realising the potential of the whole Poolbeg peninsula.”

 

Dublin City Council have failed to deliver on the City Development Plan. The area surrounding the chimneys has been zoned as a strategic development and regeneration area, but little has be done to realise the possibilities for tourist, commercial and residential development. The City Development Plan sets an objective of including Industrial Heritage sites on the record of protected structures, but the Poolbeg Chimneys, a key part of Dublin’s industrial heritage, have not yet been listed.

 

Photo by Darren Sweeny – Used under Creative Commons Licence – https://www.flickr.com/photos/darrensweeney/

The Growing Monster of Homelessness.

With so much happening in the past few years with crisis after crisis it seemed convenient to ignore the quietly growing monster that is homelessness.

We are looking into a crisis in terms of homelessness – each day Dublin City Council is spending thousands to put families into hotels and B&B’s. Recent news stories of families living in their cars shows that even this isn’t enough anymore, more has to be done. Equally many people become trapped in a cycle of emergency accommodation, not able to move on and get a stable life back.

Behind this is a deeper crisis in terms of housing. We need more social and affordable housing in Dublin, this is good for those who cannot afford housing but also helps prevent runaway rent prices for everyone by releasing the pressure of demand. Due to this unreleased pressure that exists at the minute we face spiralling rents which alongside cuts to rent supplement have made it almost impossible for many families to get anywhere to rent, and has increased the financial burden on those who are currently renting.

The spiralling prices in south Dublin look like another bubble, we need to learn the lessons of the Celtic tiger years and we need a comprehensive national housing policy for the first time. Housing is a basic necessity and should be treated as that, not as a commodity to be exploited.

I have worked on the ground with homeless services for adult and children, I have worked in vulnerable communities. I want to do more for these people and believe we need to address both our crisis of homelessness and our deeper housing problems.
The latest policy framework adopts a “Housing First” approach, where regardless of circumstances a house is provided and supports to keep you in the house and address any personal difficulties are put in place. While this system has been shown to work well in other countries it relies on having a supply of houses and homes to put people in. In my dealings for work with officials I have been told that the waiting time in Dublin City Council is 10 years, while Dun Laoghire Rathdown has a waiting time of 14 years. This is simply not good enough. A “Housing First” approach will fail without houses.

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Thank You!

Thank you! Your support matters.

The Green Party is the only party in Irish politics that does not accept corporate donations. That means your donation is all the more important.

Please let me keep in touch with you as my campaign for change progresses.