A loan of €10 million has been approved by the Galway County Council to purchase land for more social and affordable housing.
The loan will ensure the council retains the ability to deliver a build programme of appropriate scale that is responsive to projected housing need.
Currently the council’s primary housing land holdings comprise more than 38 hectares, with 71 per cent of the lands under construction, in the approval process, or the subject of a development proposal.
Despite overwhelming support for the motion in the chamber, there was opposition in the chamber.
Fianna Fáil councillor Noel Thomas argued that planned social housing developments will “destroy” Moycullen and criticised the council executive.
He said: “With a heavy heart, I cannot support this motion because of what this local authority is doing in Moycullen village. What is going on out in Moycullen village? Everyone tells us it is wrong, [yet] social housing development is being pushed ahead.
“Large scale housing estates are not the way forward. Maybe you are being bullied by the Department [of Housing] into these decisions or maybe you do not care? The local authority will destroy a [Moycullen] village that could be a brilliant village.”
Councillors were told by council executives the loan was needed as local authority was not able to fund the investment in the necessary Land Acquisition Programme from within its own resources.
The motion was put to a vote and was passed by 30 votes to three.