Here’s something to ponder – how many of the 21,500 pieces of land and property to be acquired by NAMA is presently under water given the widespread floods across the south and west of Ireland? Given the propensity

Apartments next to river

in recent years for developers to build on floodplains, and the complicity of local authorities in letting them, one has to wonder whether it would make sense to allow such sites to be developed in the future?

Cork flooding

Of course, if such sites are left as agricultural land (or in some cases as marshland) then their market value becomes significantly lower than the prices paid for them by both the developer and in turn the government (probably around only 15% of the zoned development value). In such a situation the government will only be able to realise an asset’s potential worth by pushing ahead with irresponsible development – either way it would constitute a potential poor investment of tax payers’ money.

Rob Kitchin