Pirooz Dáneshmandi: 'flawed'

Any decision not to proceed with Dublin Institute of Technology's €1bn-plus move to Grangegorman in north inner-city Dublin risks condemning the area to "further neglect" and should be resisted, local residents have warned.

In a recent letter to Taois­each Brian Cowen, they note that the Bord Snip Nua report advocated the withdrawal of all current funding to the Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA) – about €1.5m – and the amalgamation of Tallaght IT and Blanchardstown IT with DIT.

The report also stated that the withdrawal of funding for the agency would avoid further expenditure on the "planned €1.5bn capital development programme associated with Grangegorman".

It suggested the state should dispose of the land to generate revenue for the exchequer, and that consideration be given to consolidating DIT on alternative lands, such as those at Tallaght IT.

But writing to Brian Cowen on behalf of local residents, elected GDA board member Pirooz Dáneshmandi said that it is "difficult to see how DIT could fit on the campus of IT Tallaght".

"This idea is flawed even from a monetary point of view. Apart from the difficulty of finding a buyer, the sale price would be the lowest possible in today's market. It would be nothing short of giving away a valuable public resource at a bargain basement price."

"Furthermore, the report does not contain any cost-benefit analysis of not moving DIT to Grangegorman even in economic terms, not to mention the social consequences.

"Our community remains committed to the regeneration of the area and we urge you not to condemn our neighbourhood to further neglect."

Asked for its views on Bord Snip's recommendations, the GDA said: "We will await the outcome of this consideration, but remain committed to meeting our current project deadlines."

However, the Sunday Tribune understands that the board has still not received sanction from the Department of Education to proceed with its draft strategic plan, which was sent to government eight months ago.

According to the GDA's most recent figures, the overall cost of providing DIT's core educational facilities on the Grangegorman site is currently estimated at €493m, 60% of which it says will be provided through DIT funds from disposal of property, savings and philanthropy, and DIT's sports fund.

"All complementary facilities such as student's accommodation, retail outlets science and industry park facilities will be self-funding and will not require exchequer contributions," it adds.