Legislation should ensure social regeneration of Docklands

14 May 2015

by Cllr Joe Costello

I welcome the publication of the Dublin Docklands Authority Dissolution Bill 2015.

 The establishment of the DDDA in 1997 was a valuable initiative, and it had an excellent vision to regenerate the Docklands, with equal emphasis on social and economic regeneration.  Much good work was done by it.  Unfortunately, the Authority lost its way and embarked on planning and development matters that were unwise, irregular and cost the state a lot of money.

 At the same time, the DDDA failed dismally to effect the social regeneration it had promised in its vision statement.  This Dissolution Bill now dissolves the DDDA and makes Dublin City Council the new planning authority.  At the same time, it provides for the development of 66 hectares of land in the Docklands in a new Strategic Development Zone, encompassing the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock. 

 NAMA will drive the development with an investment of €2 billion.   NAMA estimates that 23,000 new jobs will be created in the construction phase and downstream.  This is the last opportunity to get it right and to ensure that economic and social regeneration go hand in hand in the Docklands.  It is particularly important training, apprenticeships and jobs be made available to the local community in Sheriff Street, East Wall and Ringsend and that the historical and industrial strengths of the Docklands area are developed and marketed.

 Unfortunately, there is nothing in the Dissolution Bill to ensure that what happened in the past won’t happen again and that the social regeneration won’t be neglected.   I urge the Minister to accept amendments to strengthen the legislation so that effective monitoring and implementation structures are put in place.