Bill meets Mick Bailey about development in Finglas

As I public representative, I must try to drive forward my own area and do the best for people even when the country is on the floor. I will meet anybody who wants to make a difference and listen. I NEVER take political contributions. There are no free lunches.

Mick Bailey of Beauvale Developments met me at Charlestown, Finglas to discuss his proposal to develop 1,700 houses for about €150,000 each at Balseskin, Finglas over the next decade. This would provide houses for locals at affordable prices. He is agreeable to funding a floodlit Sports pitch to accommodate a GAA and rugby facility on site. Mick is good in response to community needs in my experience. He has exchanged land along the M50 with the Railway Procurement Agency to allow the property alignment of Metro West in return for the construction of a tunnel to connect these houses with Charlestown and Finglas. I am supportive of this plan and will try to get it going. Balseskin is in Fingal so will be the business of that County Development Plan.

I asked Mick how he could help in the Finglas Village regeneration. He suggests that a CPO is used to assemble the whole site and develop a horseshoe shaped series of neighbourhoods with a Supervalue type supermarket in the centre, as a completely new concept.

As Marumba (the current developers) is defunct, this at least is a new idea which we should investigate.

Mick also lobbied me to get a first-time buyers grant of €30,000 per unit for two years only to clear the backlog of 10,873 unsold units (excluding rented out) in the Greater Dublin Area at a cost €300,000, a lot of which will come back as 12.5% VAT. There are 1,463 houses, 9,410 apartments/duplex and 2,575 rented out units. There are opportunities there for housing agencies also.

Finally, I paid for the tea at the meeting! There was not a tent in sight!!