People Before Profit have called on Cork City Council to utilise the Cork Docklands as a means to address the housing crisis, with investment in a large-scale public-housing programme. In a submission to the council as part of the Docklands Local Area Plan consultation, the party suggested that the Docklands development should be publicly-led and that the private development sector cannot be relied upon to meet the housing needs for Cork City.
Earlier this year, People Before Profit called upon Cork County Councillors to develop housing publicly at Monard, Co. Cork, and a motion was passed by the Council in support of this. The group will now be asking Cork City Councillors to pass a similar motion in relation to the Docklands development. The group argues that the private sector will not provide housing in the quantities required or at prices that the majority can afford. For this reason, they say that the public sector should lead in the development of the Docklands and develop affordable, accessible housing in the public interest. Campaign spokesperson Amy O’Donoghue said ‘If Cork is to continue to grow and develop as a city, it is essential that public investment in housing takes place. Left to the private sector for development, we are unlikely to see the Docklands built in a sustainable or holistic manner’.
The submission to the Council also argued that sustainable measures must be incorporated in any development at the Docklands. These include a requirement that the area be served by a light-rail system connecting the Docklands to the city centre along the River Lee. Emphasis was placed in the submission on developing a vibrant cultural and recreational environment through allocating public space for artistic production and providing community gardens, public parks, walkways and gathering places, with the riverside location a focus of the planning of public space and amenities. The submission also argued that only through an ambitious project in the public interest will the problems of homelessness, unaffordable rents and the housing deficit be solved and a thriving urban environment in which to live and work be created in its place.
A PDF copy of the submission PBP Cork have made is available for download here.