Éirígí For A New Republic spokesperson Damien Farrell is calling on Bord Pleanála to refuse planning permission to the proposed student accommodation on the site of the former Rialto Cinema on the South Circular Road. Speaking from Rialto, Farrell said
“Cork based Molaga Capital Ltd, acting on behalf of the convicted Belgian tax dodger and millionaire social welfare fraudster Dider De Witte, are planning to redevelop the old cinema site into a 317 bed student accommodation block. This general area has recently seen a rush of applications for, and construction of, private student accommodation, but no new housing developments for local people who want to live in their own community.
There is a limited amount of space and suitable sites available in Rialto and the wider South West Inner City. Young local families are finding it very difficult to settle down and bring up their kids with unaffordable rents, insecure tenancies and a lack of social housing. This proposed development will do nothing to help these families as student accommodation is exempt from the Part V requirement to provide 10% social housing.
What we need for this site is a well-designed and well-built, high density development that can accommodate a diverse community made up of all ages, family types and income backgrounds. A development where tenants can rent directly from Dublin City Council, at an affordable percentage of their household income, with total security of tenure.
The state should be identifying and buying up sites like the Rialto Cinema site and using them to build homes as part of a new system of UP Housing - universal public housing that is open to everyone that is in need of a home, regardless of their income. This form of housing would also incorporate purpose-built student accommodation that would put the needs of students ahead of the profits of dodgy developers.
Éirígí For A New Republic is therefore calling on An Bord Pleanála to refuse planning permission for student accommodation on the Rialto Cinema site.”