We have put together a lengthy and detailed submission in respect of the concept designs put forward by the LDA in relation to the proposed development of the Central Mental Hospital site.
We are aware that Ireland is in the midst of a housing crisis. It needs housing, but the right type of housing that works for all. The State, through the LDA, are commencing what is perhaps the biggest public home building project in the state since the 1930s. They have an opportunity, and a responsibility, to take an over-arching and ambitious approach to this site and how it integrates with existing communities.
We perceive that the LDA is applying a “private developer” mindset; maximising units, minimising costs and focusing on the Development to the detriment of the wider communities into which it is attempting to fit. This is to the detriment of other state agencies who will be left dealing with the resulting problems. This is fundamentally wrong.
We note that the LDA’s strategic framework specifically includes “Generating partnerships and collaborations with partners and other people seeking to deliver affordable sustainable homes” and speaks of partnerships with local authorities. Nowhere do we see a reference to partnership with local communities, nor a commitment not to decrease the quality of life of those communities.
We stand ready to become one of those partners, and reiterate our commitment to endeavour to work collaboratively with the LDA in order to ensure that the proposed Development works not only for the LDA, but also for our members, our community and, most importantly, our neighbouring communities.