Port company 'shocked' that own lands earmarked for affordable housing

Port Company 'Shocked' That Own Lands Earmarked For Affordable Housing
The Shannon Foynes Port Company said inclusion of their lands in the LDA report had caused 'serious concern and uncertainty' among their customers. Photo: PA
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Ken Foxe

A port company said they had “grave concerns” and were “quite frankly shocked” that property belonging to them had been included in a report on State lands earmarked for affordable housing.

The Shannon Foynes Port Company said inclusion of their lands had caused “serious concern and uncertainty” among their customers and a potentially damaging effect for 800 jobs supported by their operations.


In correspondence with the Land Development Agency (LDA), the port company said they were “disappointed” that such a report could be published “without any meaningful consultation”.

The LDA report, which was published earlier this year, had identified 83 sites with the potential to deliver 67,000 new affordable homes over the medium to long term.

Public bodies

However, its publication was not met with universal welcome with multiple public bodies querying how their land had ended up being included.

The Health Service Executive questioned why 10 sites of theirs at locations including Dublin, Limerick, Galway, and Waterford were listed as having development potential.


In a letter to the LDA, the public health service said it had not been afforded an opportunity for engagement and discussion on multiple properties prior to the report’s publication.

The correspondence said: “As a result, the report’s proposals for these sites do not appropriately reflect their utilisation by the HSE and its funded agencies or our future plans to develop these sites.”

The HSE said in future there should be a “stronger process of engagement” and also urged the LDA to look at the potential for developing residential accommodation for key workers, especially in healthcare.

An Post also wrote to the Land Development Agency about the inclusion of their lands at Swords Business Park in Dublin.


The postal operator said the land was an operating delivery service unit and was considered an “integral part of the operational model” for the region.

ESB said they had been engaging with the LDA about multiple sites but were not aware of any interest in other lands.

They said certain property listed in the report was an “integral and critical part” of their operations and their goals of becoming net zero by 2040.


However, the most vigorous objection came from the Shannon Foynes Port Company.


A letter from them, which was released under the Freedom of Information Act, said: “I am instructed by our Board to write to you to outline our grave concerns regarding the LDA report and to convey our disapproval regarding the report’s objective concerning our entire property at Limerick Docks.

“Furthermore, we are also disappointed, and, quite frankly, shocked that such a report would be published without any meaningful consultation with us, the property owner.”

In response to the port company, LDA chief executive John Coleman said not all sites in the report would be developed for housing and that preparing the report had been a statutory obligation for his agency.

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Mr Coleman said the report had said the port lands were categorised as a “Class 3 site” meaning there were significant issues around infrastructure, flooding, existing operational uses and leases.


Asked about the records, a spokesman for the LDA said they welcomed and had received feedback on the report, including updated or clarified information on a small number of sites.

He said: “The report is a statement of fact which identifies land that could potentially be used for housing in the short, medium and longer term. It serves as a strategic tool to assess the potential of state-owned lands for housing delivery into the future.

“The LDA has already been consulting with many of the public bodies involved, separate to the production of the report, to explore the potential for lands to be released for housing delivery.”

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