Land Development Agency publishes Sustainable Development Strategy

Plan sets out ambition for LDA to be leaders in the creation of sustainable homes and communities

Sandy Road CGI 7

The Land Development Agency has published its Sustainable Development Strategy, which sets out a roadmap for the organisation to achieve its ambition of maximising the supply of affordable and social homes while mitigating environmental impacts and boosting biodiversity gains.

The LDA has identified six strategic objectives – with a near to medium term focus on mitigating carbon impact and focusing on the potential for Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) across the LDA portfolio.

The strategic objectives of the LDA are to:

  • Reduce Carbon (Embodied and Operational)
  • Promote Water Stewardship
  • Optimise Sustainable Land-Use & Mobility
  • Enhance Biodiversity & Climate Resilience
  • Promote Circularity
  • Support the Creation of Social Value
Sustainable Development Strategy 2024 -2028

LDA Sustainable Development Strategy 2024-2028.PDF

Sustainable development is a central consideration in all LDA projects. The Agency is keenly aware of the impact of construction and building management on our ecological and social systems and has been taking steps to mitigate these effects. This Strategy establishes the LDA’s baseline targets and identifies areas of research and investigation required to improve on these

This plan is the formalisation of many initiatives already being undertaken by the organisation, such as the adoption of the LDA’s Apartment Typology Booklet, which not only standardises the approach to apartment design and facilitates the most efficient delivery of homes, but also addresses energy efficiency and universal design.

Strict sustainability criteria is embedded in all LDA projects and partnerships. This was most clearly demonstrated in our recent housebuilder partnerships panel framework (known as ‘Project Tosaigh’) announcement. All of the homebuilders who qualified had to meet the sustainability thresholds contained in the Strategy to be considered for the framework, and our partners on future projects will have to align with its targets.

Collaboration and innovation will be central to the success of this Strategy. The LDA has cultivated strong relationships with partners across a wide range of sectors – Government Departments and Agencies, Local Authorities, State bodies, third level institutions, home builders and industry peers – and will maximise these connections to deliver our sustainability ambitions.

The Agency recognises the need for high quality evidence based data, and has actively supported research on sustainability and the built environment since its establishment. Current LDA supported research projects are focussing on biodiversity in the built environment, and post-occupancy building performance and tenant wellbeing. The organisation is also supporting research by the IGBC and Construct Innovate to develop a national methodology and benchmarking tool for whole life carbon evaluation.

John Coleman, Chief Executive of the Land Development Agency said,

“The publication of the Sustainable Development Strategy sends a strong signal to our partners, stakeholders and the public that the LDA is committed to becoming a leader in the creation and delivery of sustainable homes and communities.

“The plan identifies a clear pathway to achieve our ambition of driving positive change in the planning, design, construction and stewardship of the built environment for the benefit of all. It commits the Agency to establishing industry leading targets to reduce carbon, enhance biodiversity and promote circularity across its portfolio of projects, benchmarked against strict performance criteria.

“This will enable the LDA to deliver its programme of homebuilding, while mitigating the potential negative ecological impacts and supporting the creation of social value”.

The LDA Sustainable Development Strategy is available here

Sustainability Development Strategy 2024 -2028. PDF

Shanganagh, Shankill, Co. Dublin
Shanganagh, Shankill, Co. Dublin

The LDA is the State’s affordable housing delivery body. It is in the process of delivering more than 10,000 homes on State-owned or acquired land and over 8,000 through the Government’s Project Tosaigh initiative.

The Agency has existing planning permission for around 6,000 affordable homes on State-owned lands with many projects already under construction and others at advanced planning stage.

In addition to the direct delivery of homes on state-owned or other acquired land, the LDA is overseeing Project Tosaigh, an initiative whereby the agency steps in to facilitate the completion of stalled or unviable housing projects and then makes the homes available to renters or to buyers as either cost rental of affordable purchase. Under Project Tosaigh, the LDA is planning to deliver at least 8,000 homes by 2028 with a significant number of these already delivered.

The LDA produced the Report on Relevant Public Land, which advised the government of the potential to deliver 67,000 homes on 83 underutilised State-owned sites. The LDA also announced plans to purchase private sites with planning permission in the country’s five major cities.

The LDA’s direct delivery projects include the construction of 265 homes at St Kevin’s Hospital in Cork, a former HSE site, and the development of 597 homes in Shanganagh in Dublin in partnership with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

It also includes 817 homes at a site at Castlelands in Balbriggan in Dublin, 345 in Hacketstown in Skerries in Dublin, 219 at Devoy Barracks in Naas, Co. Kildare, 852 on the former Central Mental Hospital site in Dundrum, Dublin 14 and 543 at St Teresa’s Gardens in Dublin’s south inner city in partnership with Dublin City Council. In December 2023, the Agency purchased a major site in Clongriffin in Dublin, which has the potential to deliver 2,200 homes.  

Project Tosaigh is an LDA initiative, whereby the Agency steps in to facilitate the completion of housing projects and then makes the new homes available to renters on a cost rental basis or to purchasers at an affordable price.

The LDA has already launched a number of Project Tosaigh schemes. They include the release of 142 cost rental homes in Archers Wood in Delgany in Wicklow and the phased release of 95 homes in Parklands on Fortunestown Lane in Citywest in Dublin.

In January 2024, the LDA announced the release of over 600 cost rental homes in four locations including 247 at Barnwell Point Apartments in Hansfield in Dublin 15, 236 at The Quarter in Citywest, 86 in Dun Óir in Kilternan in Dublin and 52 in Harpur Lane in Leixlip, Co Kildare.

The Agency has also launched a number of affordable purchase Project Tosaigh developments. These include the phased launch of 92 homes in Clonmore in Mallow in Cork, 95 in Summerfields in Kilbarry in Waterford, 57 in Wilkinsons Brook in Hollystown, Dublin 15 and 50 in Baker Hall in Navan.