Land Development Agency’s housing delivery is ramping up

The State’s housing development body is set to complete its first direct delivery homes later this year.

2024 is set to mark a shift in gear for the Land Development Agency (LDA) as the State’s housing development body is on course to become one of Ireland’s largest homebuilders.

The output from the LDA’s two main delivery streams – direct development of state sourced lands, and Project Tosaigh developer partnerships – is increasing rapidly amid greater access to state-owned land, partnerships with local authorities, the acquisition of private land and the launch of new cost rental and affordable purchase developments.

Later this year, the LDA will reach a major milestone when it launches its first direct delivery homes in Shanganagh in Dublin. Developed in partnership with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, this development of 597 homes will highlight the crucial role the LDA is playing in responding to the State’s urgent housing need by partnering with local authorities.

It will also showcase the LDA’s ability to develop sustainable well-connected and well-serviced new communities and mark the start of a steady flow of direct delivery homes with a series of other developments to follow.

In total, the LDA’s direct delivery pipeline now involves more than 10,000 homes at various stages from public consultation to construction. At least 6,000 of these have planning permission – a figure that demonstrates the Agency’s expertise in planning, design, and consultation.

At the same time, the LDA is ramping up delivery through Project Tosaigh, a second delivery stream whereby the Agency partners with developers to complete stalled or unviable developments and then makes the homes available to renters or purchasers.

To date, over 1,000 households already rent or own a home delivered by the LDA through Project Tosaigh, and the Agency is targeting the delivery of 8,000 in total by 2028 under this groundbreaking government initiative.

Shanganagh: Aerial view of the ongoing work at Shanganagh, a partnership between the Land Development Agency and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, which will deliver 597 new homes in Shankill, County Dublin.
Clongriffin lands: The LDA has acquired a strategic site in in Clongriffin in north Dublin with the potential to deliver up to 2,200 homes

This level of activity and future ambition means the LDA is targeting the delivery of 14,000 homes by 2028 and to reach a delivery run rate of at least 2,000 new homes a year by then. It also shows just how far the Agency has come since its inception in late 2018. Back then, the Agency had no staff or operational base. Now, there are almost 200 employees in offices in Dublin, Galway, Cork and Limerick.

The need for more affordable housing is a nationwide issue and the LDA is playing its part in addressing this through a series of projects in or close to major cities and their surrounding commuter areas.

This process increasingly involves partnering with local authorities as they seek to maximise the potential of State-owned land and deploy the LDA’s resources to fast-track the construction of affordable and social homes.

In Galway, for example, the Agency is currently working with Galway City Council on plans for over 200 homes on Dyke Road on the edge of the city centre, more than 250 apartments at a site in Galway Harbour, and the transformation of land surrounding Sandy Road into a new urban quarter with the potential for 750 homes.

In Cork, construction is underway on 265 homes at the site of the former St Kevin’s Hospital. In Kildare, 219 are being built at Devoy Barracks in Naas, while plans are being advanced in Limerick for the development of the Colbert Quarter area of the city and for new homes in Mungret where the LDA is working in partnership with Limerick City and County Council.

Meanwhile, several projects in Dublin are nearing the construction phase. This includes developments at Castlelands in Balbriggan, Hacketstown in Skerries, St Teresa’s Gardens in the south inner city and Cromcastle in Coolock in Dublin 5.

The LDA is also working in partnership with Dublin City Council on plans to deliver over 1,000 homes in Cherry Orchard and, in its first acquisition of private land, recently acquired a site in Clongriffin in north Dublin with the potential to deliver up to 2,200 homes.

Under Project Tosaigh, the LDA recently announced the launch of over 600 cost rental apartments in Dublin and Kildare including in Hansfield, Citywest, Kilternan, and Leixlip. This follows the launch of other Project Tosaigh developments in Delgany in Wicklow, Clonmore in Mallow, and Kilbarry in Waterford.

In March 2023, the LDA published a report on relevant public land, which advised the government of the potential to deliver 67,000 homes on 83 underutilised State-owned sites. The LDA emphasised that this was the start of an engagement process with state bodies in charge of key underutilised sites.

Discussions are ongoing and already producing results. Sites in Kinsealy in Dublin and Wilton in Cork, for example, are being transferred to the LDA with more to come.

At the same time, the Agency has reissued a call for expressions of interest from private landowners seeking to sell development sites in the five main cities with capacity for at least 200 homes.

Given this high level of activity and despite challenges such as delays in the planning process, the LDA is optimistic about its trajectory and confident in its ability to deliver much-needed affordable homes in new and vibrant communities.

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