Land Development Agency announces plans to open office in Limerick

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Email:

david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

OPINION: Call for Limerick people to influence design of multi-billion euro city centre development

An early design concept for the Colbert Quarter

THE Land Development Agency has announced its plans to open an office in Limerick.

The plan will facilitate more flexible working arrangements for staff, but most importantly the move recognises the role of the LDA as a national agency with a mandate to help boost the scale of cities outside Dublin, in line with Project Ireland 2040’s ambition for growth outside Dublin.

When public health restrictions allow, the LDA will open offices in Limerick and Corkthis year, with more bases outside Dublin planned in the near future.

The Agency's mandate is to increase the supply of affordable housing through the efficient use of state land, and it already has significant activities in Limerick and Cork.

In Limerick, the LDA is working with the local authority on plans for the redevelopment of a 50-hectare site around Colbert Station, to create a new urban quarter with a mix of residential, educational, health, community, and recreational uses.

Commenting on the plan to open additional officer, John Moran, Chair of the Land Development Agency said: "I am delighted for the LDA move to be one of the first public sector agencies moving to a distributed working model. Rebalancing the social and economic drivers of Ireland is critical to creating a more liveable and attractive country. Given the re-evaluation of how we can all work more flexibly post Covid, there is no better time for the LDA to support more balanced regional development by opening offices outside of Dublin."

Mr Moran, a former secretary general at the Department of Finance added: " With our national team operating cohesively in numerous locations we will benefit from better diversity of thought as to how we prioritise and deliver on our mandate. We can also offer challenging and rewarding career paths both in and outside of the capital.”

John Coleman, Chief Executive of the Land Development Agency added: "The LDA’s mandate of improving the supply of affordable housing and making better use of state land is a nationwide project, and so it is appropriate that we expand our office footprint beyond Dublin. This plan will have the effect of creating office hubs located outside of Dublin for our team and therefore provide welcome flexible working options for staff who may not wish to work in Dublin. We are currently recruiting new members to our expanding team and hopefully the announcement of our intention about new offices will open up the opportunity for a broader range of candidates to consider working with us.”

The new Land Development Agency Bill currently before the Oireachtas will allow the LDA to identify underused public lands, to draw up masterplans to develop those lands, and to manage the State landbank with the goal of increasing the supply of affordable housing.  It will also free up very significant capital from the Strategic Investment Fund for the LDA to drive on quickly with its mission. 

The bill has been criticised by some members of Limerick City and County Council who have expressed strong concerns as to its impact.