It has been confirmed today that An Bord Pleanala have upheld Dublin City Council’s decision to formally declare the former John Player Wills site on South Circular Road in Dublin 8 as a vacant site.

Speaking in the Seanad this afternoon Fianna Fáil Seanad Group Leader and Crumlin based Senator, Catherine Ardagh said, “This site, which is currently under the control of NAMA and recently valued in the region of €100million is of massive strategic importance to our area.

“The South Inner City is in the grip of an ongoing housing crisis. DCC have sought to take Weaver Square and its allotments to use for development but as I have previously pointed out, the needs of residents locally shouldn’t necessarily be sacrificed.

“The vacant lands around the former John Player factory could be a better alternative to seizing much used and much loved green space when it’s already in short supply. Focus should instead be on maximising the value of the vacant site to alleviate the crisis in housing by developing sustainable, affordable housing on it.

She concluded, “The economic and social needs of the communities throughout the South Inner City need to be respected and the proper use of this site is the perfect opportunity to see that happen.”