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Written Answers - Departmental Bodies

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 164.  Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  his plans for the future of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority; if the existing authority or Dublin City Council has responsibility for planning the development of the Poolbeg area; if his attention has been drawn to any meetings that have taken place [359]between the authority and the National Asset Management Agency with regard to developments in the Poolbeg area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3042/12]

 168.  Deputy Paschal Donohoe Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  the position regarding the future status of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3061/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 164 and 168 together.

Since its establishment in 1997, the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) has overseen the urban regeneration of the Docklands area into a vibrant city quarter, realising considerable achievements in the delivery of its statutory mandate to secure the social and economic regeneration of the Dublin Docklands area on a sustainable basis, as well as to secure improvements in its physical environment. These achievements include attracting substantial private and public investment, increasing numbers employed in the area, delivering quality commercial space, facilitating thousands of new residential units and ensuring considerable social and community enhancements.

As part of the Government’s commitment to securing ongoing savings and efficiencies, the scope for agency reform and rationalisation will continue to receive careful consideration. The future position of the Authority remains under review in that context.

Regarding responsibility for planning in the Docklands area, a developer may choose to either make a planning application to Dublin City Council or to apply to the Authority for a certificate of exemption, pursuant to section 25 of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority Act 1997, for a development in areas in the Docklands that are covered by planning schemes; these are prepared by the Authority to assist in the realisation of the Authority’s Master Plan objectives and require the approval of the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government. As there is no planning scheme in place in respect of the Poolbeg area, planning applications may be made only to Dublin City Council.

Engagements between the DDDA and the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) are a matter, in the first instance, for the Authority itself. As outlined in the DDDA’s 2010 Annual Report & Financial Statements, copies of which have been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas, an agreement was concluded between the DDDA and NAMA in 2011 in relation to the Authority’s loan liabilities in respect of the purchase of the ten-hectare former Irish Glass Bottle site at Poolbeg. The effect of the agreement was to extinguish any obligations on the DDDA under guarantees of principal and interest on loans taken over by NAMA in exchange for the transfer to NAMA of certain DDDA properties.


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