Hopes that the development of derelict dockland sites will help with social regeneration.

A £1.6 billion draft development programme for the Dublin Docklands area has been unveiled, known as the Spencer Dock Development.

This ambitious development plan covers a 1,300-acre zone north and south of the River Liffey.

The primary aim of the development is social and economic regeneration of an area more often associated with dereliction and deprivation. If the plan succeeds, it is hoped that up to 40,000 jobs will be created in the area over a period of fifteen years. The social element to the project will have a focus on training and education. 

The plan includes provision for an additional 10,000 housing units, 10% at "affordable prices". The Dublin Docklands Development Authority is adamant that the social elements of the project will be implemented through penalty clauses if necessary. 

Lar Bradshaw of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority says that the focus is on generating employment and to bring people back to live in the area.

The development will include generous tax incentives for developers including 100% capital allowances for owner occupiers and investors; double rent relief for tenants; incentives for private housing; and a 10-year rates remission for commercial development. 

Environment Minister Noel Dempsey insists that developers will not be permitted to ignore their social obligations. However, independent TD Tony Gregory is sceptical and says the way to include the local community in a meaningful way is through education and training and says that without this, the project won't work. 

The draft plan for the area is available for public viewing at a number of locations throughout Dublin.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 3 September 1997. The reporter is Ingrid Miley.