Liberties Plan Put on Hold

It now looks increasingly likely that the grandiose vision for the Liberties outlined in the Local Area Plan (LAP) will not be revisited.

Regeneration looks unlikely

The plans continue to gather dust, four years after being adopted by the Dublin City Council.  The LAP committed to transforming the famous area of the capital into a “thriving city quarter, home to a strong inclusive community” by 2020.

The plan promised to improve living standards in the area by providing improved amenities and increased levels of social housing.  Despite DCC’s decision to pay consultants over €1 million and two years of consultation with residents groups, the recommendations have yet to be implemented.

The 262-page document was one of Dublin’s largest LAP’s to date and outlined an impressive vision for the area’s future. The plan committed to improving the social, economic and environmental conditions for Liberties residents.

The LAP pledged to provide residents with public spaces, such as parks, libraries, playgrounds and sports facilities. It also committed to providing increased levels of social and affordable housing, as well as the regeneration of existing dilapidated parts of the area.

The increase in the provision of affordable housing was to be made possible by the redevelopment of brownfield sites around the area. The LAP envisaged the population of the Liberties rising from 13,500 to around 20,000.

The plan would also have created significant amounts of employment and commercial space. The failure to implement the proposals is being blamed on insufficient funding being available amid the current climate of austerity.

Speaking to The Liberty, local Fine Gael Councillor Ruairí McGinley admitted that it was now unlikely the LAP will be implemented fully.

“In the current economic environment it is unlikely it will be implemented in its entirety. I would say a very small fraction of the commitments are likely to happen,” he said.

Sinn Féin’s Criona Ní Dhálaigh believes the fact that the promises made in the LAP will now not be fulfilled is a “tragedy” for the area.

“This was an opportunity to invest in the Liberties, an area which has been neglected for years by both Government and Local Authorities,” she said.

Councillor Ní Dhaláigh, believes the apparent scrapping of the plan is symptomatic of a general lack of care on the part of the state towards socially disadvantaged communities.

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