Social housing scheme in Cabra to be halved to make way for LuasGary Ibbotson 20 Jan 2022
A Dublin City Council social housing scheme will have to be halved in order to facilitate tram stables for the upcoming Luas line to Finglas, it has been confirmed.
The council purchased the site of the former Premier Chickens factory on Bannow Road, Cabra in early 2020 with the vision of developing 120 social and affordable homes.
The local authority had secured Government funding and approval for the scheme with the estate set to be one of the first in the city built under the State’s new local affordable-housing purchase scheme.
However, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has said it needs to take over control of one-third of the site for parking for the Luas trams as part of the extension of Luas Green Line to Finglas.
DCC says this move will only space for about 50 or 60 homes.
Last week, Marcello Corsi, project manager for Luas Finglas, said TII had not known the site had been bought by the council for housing when it was selected as a “stable” yard for trams.
However, he said there was no other option for tram parking to facilitate the Finglas Luas, which is due to begin operations in 2031.
“We have done a lot and we are really in [a] cul-de-sac at the moment, there are no additional areas where we can find the space here,” he said.
“Of all the options we looked at this is by far the most practicable.
Corsi said that other options for the stables were explored, such as Sandyford – where the Green Line begins its journey – but there was no available space.
“Unfortunately, we are in a corner for tram stabling capacity,” he said.
“There is no alternative for parking trams for Luas Finglas unless we build a third depot, which is absolutely impossible to do.
“There is no space to do that on land within the M50 even if we wanted to do it.”
There was already a state-of-the-art maintenance yard at Broombridge, he said, and “we need to have trams stabled close to the maintenance yard”.
“I understand the level of frustration, but Luas Finglas unfortunately has no other options because we looked at several areas and they just don’t exist.”
Labour councillor for Cabra and Glasnevin Declan Meenagh said it was “immensely disappointing” the homes would be lost and it was a “disgrace” councillors were kept in the dark about the move.
“We have 2,548 homeless children and a total of 9,099 people in emergency accommodation according to the latest figures available.
“Every social home is badly needed, especially in Cabra where there is a very long list and very few units becoming available.
“For TII to step in and delay further, an unacceptably long approval process for the council to direct build housing on the land we own is a disgrace.
“The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing and this must stop.
“I have a growing concern that transport policy in this country lacks democratic oversight and this is just one more example where local representatives are in the dark and I hope we get answers.”
Independent councillor Cieran Perry said that Cabra is “one of the most deprived areas of potential building space” and that the council found it difficult to find available land in the area.