Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Aindrias Moynihan has called on the Minister for Housing to clarify if projects approved under the National Taking in Charge pilot scheme will be prioritised under the new initiative.

He raised the issue in the Dáil this week, but the government failed to give a concrete answer.

Deputy Moynihan said, “This is a major issue for communities right across Cork. We are in the middle of a housing crisis and there are unfinished estates which could and should be completed under this scheme.

“One estate in particular, Cluain Croisse in Crossbarry, was part of the original pilot scheme, however it was never progressed because the project was found to be bigger than originally planned. If the plant at Crossbarry was operational, it would ease the pressure on the residents in the Cluain Croisse estate, as well as catering for nearby estates. It would also make the planning process easier for people wanting to build homes in the area.

“This is exactly what this Taking in Charge scheme is designed to do but this project appears to have been put on hold despite the need for housing being so great.

“The National Development Plan has set aside €31m for the National Taking in Charge scheme. We are now almost halfway through the lifetime of the NDP but the applications for the scheme are only now being assessed. This raises serious concerns about the government’s commitment to deliver this scheme. Once again Fine Gael is more concerned with making big announcements, rather than concentrating on seeing them through.

“Also, I would like the Minister to confirm that the project, which had been selected for the pilot scheme, will be prioritised. The fact that the Crossbarry estate was axed because the need was so great is ridiculous. Surely, the greater the need, the greater the priority?

“Much of the background work has already been completed and yet the Council had to resubmit an application, despite already having been approved. This is just adding to the delay at a time when houses are badly needed.

“I am disappointed that neither Minister Murphy nor Minister English have been able to give a definitive answer on this, but I will continue to pursue it with them”, concluded Deputy Moynihan.