Controversy over 41 Social houses in Greystones

I welcome the majority vote of Greystones Councillors by 3 to 2 to provide 41 Social Homes at the Council owned site. This was purchased probably a decade ago for housing and lots of money has been spent preparing detailed plans, studying flooding, how to reduce it and other issues. The Government has agreed to fund building and I hope they will be ready in 2 years.

There are 394 people on the Greystones housing list, many for a long time and I believe that we have a duty to provide houses. Cllr Gerry Walsh (FF), Cllr Jodie Neary (SD) and myself voted for. Cllr Tom Fortune (Ind) and Cllr Mags Crean (Ind) voted against providing this housing.

The bridge and houses will be above the 1 in 1000 year flood level. Attenuation tanks will be installed under the new area to slow down, below current undeveloped site, rate of water run off in the 1 in 1000 year storm. This reduces flood risk from present.

There were some suggestions that traffic should go through Charlesland Court however that would mean driving past about 70 houses as against 20 with access through Burnaby Lawns. Also the Council does not own the Charlesland road. There were also suggestions to combine the site with others but that would delay the homes by 3 years at least.

After the vote Cllr Fortune stormed out of the meeting criticising both the Director of Housing and myself as Chair. I have complete confidence in the Director who works hard in a dedicated manner to try to solve the problems of people without housing, a difficult task. Councillors should be supporting his efforts. As Chair I applied the normal rule that Cllrs can only speak once and for 5 minutes on a topic but this time I had a stopwatch and recorded each speaker. This rule is to ensure that all 6 Cllrs can speak on a topic.

Being involved in politics involves difficult choices but all of us have to learn to cope with being outvoted and the need to move on for the benefit of the area.

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