Recently South Dublin County Council designated the former Town Centre site between Lucan and Clondalkin on the Fonthill Road as an SDZ (Special Development Zone). This area is formerly in Dublin West and I am very familiar with it from planning battles I fought in favour of sustainable development in the 1990s.

Like Hansfield and the undeveloped land to the south of the Dunboyne Railway an SDZ is an integrated plan to rapidly develop a new neighbourhood with clear targets for facilities such as schools, shops and amenities.

My Lucan colleague Joanna Tuffy has rightly pointed out that the provision of affordable housing in these schemes have been so far lacking saying:

“While recent SDZ orders have referred to the deficiency in the supply of housing, there have been no explicit requirements for affordable housing to be built.

“Thousands of houses will be built in the next decade on lands that are designated SDZs and it is vital that local families are not priced out of the market for those houses.

“While some councillors have been proactive in inserting affordable housing requirements into draft SDZ Planning Schemes it would strengthen the hand of local Councils to require affordable housing if the orders designating lands as Strategic Development Zones contained explicit references to the need for affordable housing.

“The Minister should also urgently introduce a National Affordable Housing Scheme. County Managers have been telling councillors that they can’t have affordable housing schemes without a National Affordable Housing Scheme being in place.

“The Minister has stated that there are going to be affordable housing schemes in conjunction with local authorities but to date there has been nothing concrete.

“A National Affordable Housing Scheme that sets out eligibility, criteria and clawback provisions will give certainty to local Councils that they can go ahead and facilitate Affordable Housing Schemes in their communities.”