Bitter blow to area as €30m funding for projects in Park West and Cherry Orchard are rejected

By Muiris O’Gairbheith

THE APPLICATION for €30m in funding for key objectives within the Park West/Cherry Orchard Local Area Plan (LAP) was rejected by the Department of Housing, after city centre projects were prioritised for regeneration following the impact of Covid-19.

It is a bitter blow for many people who have worked hard in the area over the years and witnessed previous major plans falling by the wayside after money ran out or when recessions kicked in.

Cherry Orchard LAP 1 1

€30 million funding for projects in Park West and Cherry Orchard were rejected

The news was confirmed this week when Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien, announced €430 million in funding for eight urban regeneration and development fund (URDF) projects in Dublin – however the application for Park West/Cherry Orchard was not successful.

In Dublin City Council, the approved projects are the North Inner City Concept Area 1 (€121.3 million) and the South Inner City Concept Area 2 (€53m).

For Cherry Orchard, the bulk of the €31.6m, which would have been matched by €10.5m from Dublin City Council if the application was successful, was to help get the ball rolling on structural work towards new homes, new employment/enterprise space, and community/recreational facilities.

According to Dublin City Council, the statutory plan has the potential to deliver between 2,000 to 3,000 homes.

To date, the only site where work has taken place in the LAP is at the new housing estate in Elmdale.

A city council spokesperson told The Echo: “The city council was requested by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to identify a maximum of four concept areas in the city overall and to prioritise these four concept areas. 

“In considering the prioritisation criteria it was decided that the city centre would have more need to recover from the impact of Covid-19 and that the URDF projects in these concept areas would have wider regeneration benefits for the whole city.  As such the North Inner City and South Inner City concept areas were put forward for consideration.

Ballyfermot Cllr Daithí Doolan (SF) said the rejected application was a “blow to the area” and the funding was “important to “laying the foundation of the LAP” and would have “underwritten support from central Government for the future development of Cherry Orchard”.

“Once again areas like Cherry Orchard are forgotten by this Government. Very frustrated at this response, or lack of response from the Government,” he said.

Cllr Doolan forwarded an emergency motion for the South Central area meeting on Wednesday, calling on the council to urge “alternative funding” is made available from the Dept Housing.

“Cherry Orchard has had too many false dawns. We cannot allow this to be another one.” Cllr Doolan concluded.

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