Aoife Brennan




Quadcore Kingspan

– Total of 83 state-owned sites identified with the development potential for up to 67,000 affordable homes

The Land Development Agency (LDA) has launched its first report on the potential of state-owned land to deliver affordable and social housing in to the future.

The Report on Relevant Public Land identifies 83 state-owned land sites and assesses them as having the development potential for up to 67,000 homes in the medium to long term.

This figure is separate to the LDA’s existing near-term delivery pipeline, which already includes 5,000 affordable homes, either under construction or in design and planning, plus an additional 5,000 affordable purchase and cost rental homes through its Project Tosaigh initiative.

Report on Relevant Public Land

The report is designed to serve as a consolidated, coherent guide for stakeholders to understand the potential for state-owned lands and to create a development pipeline of sites for affordable and social housing into the future.

The sites were chosen and have been assessed based on their potential ability to deliver affordable housing, facilitate the creation of new sustainable communities, and add to existing ones. All are state-owned and are either under the control of local authorities, other state bodies or commercial semi-state companies.

Much of the land involved is brownfield and located in existing urban centres in cities and towns with strong public transport links, suitable infrastructure, and other facilities nearby. Some of the sites are currently in use by public bodies, so any plans by the Government to potentially release them for housing development will require consultation.

The LDA has advised that up to 9,760 of the potential homes identified in the report could be delivered in the next five to 10 years, subject to the land involved being made available, due diligence and the planning process. These homes are proposed on Class 1 public lands which are classified as having the least known constraints.

A further 17,440 homes are proposed on Class 2 sites, which are considered to have medium- to long-term potential, while there are a further 39,710 on long-term, Class 3 sites, bringing the total potential number of homes to 66,910.

The LDA was required by legislation to submit the first Report on Relevant Public Land to the Government by 31 March and must now provide updated reports at least every two years.

All of the sites identified by the LDA’s planning division for this first report are located in the five main cities – Dublin (38), Cork (14), Limerick (6), Galway (8) and Waterford (4) – and in five regional centres – Sligo (4), Letterkenny (2), Dundalk (4), Drogheda (1) and Athlone (2).

These 10 areas were purposefully chosen to ensure a priority focus on urban centres of greatest need and projected future growth, and the public lands identified involve the areas with greatest potential. In total the lands assessed account for approximately 75% of all relevant public land identified nationally.

Subsequent reports will examine the housing potential of state-owned sites in other relevant public land areas, of which there are currently 38. 


Relevant Available Public Land

Sites listed in the report include Conyngham Road Bus Depot and Sandyford Mint in Dublin; the ESB Networks premises on Sarsfield Road in Cork, land at Galway Harbour and the North Docks Bus Depot in Waterford.

The report will now be subject to further consideration by the Government and the LDA. It should be noted that many of the lands identified are in use by public bodies and any move to develop affordable or social housing on them will be subject to consideration of existing uses, due diligence, consultation, and the normal planning processes. The report cannot and does not seek to mandate the transfer or repurposing of the land identified as this is a policy matter for the Government.

John Coleman, Chief Executive, LDA

John Coleman, Chief Executive, LDA, said: “The publication of the Report on Relevant Public Land is an important milestone for the LDA. It identifies state-owned land that has the potential to be repurposed to deliver a pipeline of affordable homes into the future. This report and subsequent updates will greatly assist the LDA, Government and State agencies to locate affordable housing and public facilities in the optimum locations. The LDA is committed to working closely with the public bodies involved to find common ground for the release of land for affordable housing purposes and for the common good.

“The LDA encourages all stakeholders to treat this as the first step in an ongoing process with continuous review as per the requirement of the legislation. It is hoped that it will assist in the national debate on land use and will lead to the identification of locations where new affordable homes can be built.”

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said: “This report is a crucial part of the Government’s work to ensure a supply of affordable housing in areas where it is needed most. The LDA has been resourced to plan and deliver affordable homes on state-owned land and this strategic report will enable the Government and my Department to plan ahead. I intend to review the report closely and work with the LDA and the public bodies involved to identify high potential sites that could be prioritised as part of the LDA’s ongoing delivery pipeline.”

Dearbhla Lawson, Head of Strategic Planning, LDA

Dearbhla Lawson, Head of Strategic Planning in the LDA, said: “This report identifies the potential to utilise well-located public land to deliver not just affordable housing, but to contribute to the creation of sustainable communities and support the vitality and viability of our cities and towns. It is a strategic approach and important first step in identifying the possibilities for the future use of public land in the public interest. We look forward to engaging with our partners about the potential for public lands to help deliver more affordable housing and sustainable communities into the future.”

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