Yesterday Deputy Patrick Costello and Cllr Michael Pidgeon wrote to Minister for House Darragh O’Brien TD regarding the urgent need for the regeneration of the Oliver Bond Flats.
Dear Minister O’Brien,
We are writing to you today in our capacity as TD for Dublin South-Central and Cllr for South West Inner City regarding the Oliver Bond flats.
The development was one of the works of prominent architect Herbert Simms and was once at the forefront of social housing in the city. It has however, in recent times, fallen into a state of severe dilapidation in a physical sense and this has given rise to the inevitable social problems that relate to this including; anti-social behaviour, petty crime and drug dealing.
This behaviour is one which represents a small minority of residents, by contrast the overwhelming majority wish to have a safe, clean environment for them and their families to grow up in and realise their full potential. To achieve this end, we are asking that you and your department provide significant political and monetary support for the regeneration of the flats and surrounding district with a view to transforming the complex into a modern development which is fit for purpose.
The Irish Times (November 21st, 2020) has reported that with existing resources the regeneration process of the area will take up to 15 years – based on the estimates of the architects at Dublin City Council. This is too long of a wait for residents whom already living under sub-standard and decrepit conditions. Similarly, it is too long for a whole generation of young people who will grow up there and inevitably fall in with criminal groupings. The allocation of justice funding under budget 2021 was welcomed by me to tackle anti-social issues but they are just tackling the results as opposed to the cause of such behaviour. By ensuring we regenerate and develop complexes such as Oliver Bond we can, in conjunction with youth diversion schemes, ensure a safer city for all our citizens.
The recent successful regeneration of Dolphin House is a testament of the success that can lay in wait for Oliver Bond. That regeneration saw an alliance of residents working with Dublin City Council as well as independent development groups to ensure a hugely successful outcome. It is this model which we urge you and your department to adopt in relation to Oliver Bond. We would further seek that you commit financial resources to capital expenditure for this regeneration to begin as soon as is possible. As a starting point, we would further urge the immediate appointment of a regeneration worker so they can begin to familiarise themselves with the area and build community trust.
Is mise le meas,
Patrick Costello TD – Dublin South-Central
Cllr Michael Pidgeon – South West Inner City