Fingal Enforcement Unit needs to closely monitor new planning permission granted at Windmill in Clonsilla

I’m disappointed to see the granting of planning permission for 143 new apartments at the Windmill development in Clonsilla. This site has a very poor planning history. Much of the public open space that was meant to be provided as part of the original planning permission was never delivered. The site has been left in an appalling state over the last number of years. Fingal County Council itself took the developer to the High Court in order to get the original plans, including the public open space, completed.

I strongly believe that it would have been much better had the developer been compelled to finish the original development before coming back for any new permission. However, I do note that a significant number of detailed conditions have been placed on the grant of planning permission, requiring that much of the open space, including a playground, is completed before any work on new apartments starts.

It is absolutely essential that the Council’s Enforcement Unit closely monitors any work on this site and ensures that this phasing is fully adhered to. The existing residents deserve to have the facilities that were originally promised, finally provided.

Decision on Kempton Vale

Proposed Traffic Calming measures along the Waterville Distributor Road

Map of proposed traffic calming measures opposite Waterville Park

Map of proposed traffic calming measures opposite Waterville Park

Fingal County Council is bringing forward a proposal for a traffic calming scheme along the Waterville Distributor Road (opposite Waterville Park).

  • Double yellow lining along each side of the road
  • Four uncontrolled pedestrian crossing points at various intervals on the Waterville Distributor Road
  • Appropriate signage and lining where necessary

The location of these can be seen on the map overleaf.

If you would like to make a submission on this proposal, please contact:

Mr. Mick Carroll, Administrative Officer, Operations Department, Fingal County Council, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

Alternatively, you can make a submission online here.

The deadline for comments is 4:30pm on Friday 17th June. Feel free to forward me on a copy of your views at rodericogorman@gmail.com

These comments will be discussed at a meeting of the Council later in the summer, where a final decision will be taken as to whether to proceed with the scheme or not.

Council agrees to my call to tackle anti-social behaviour black-spots in Coolmine Woods

Coolmine Woods 2 (1)

Following on from requests I had received from local residents, I put a motion down calling on the Council to remove the large boulder in the middle of Coolmine Woods, which is often the site of anti-social behaviour. I also asked the Council tidy up the ground around the large ‘Coolmine Woods’ namestone opposite the fire station.

I am delighted that the Council have agreed to act on these requests. The large boulder will be removed over the summer. The Council have further agreed to undertake planting around the stone plaque to improve the situation there.

Opening the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ at Scoil Mhuire, Blakestown

Cutting the ribbon to open the 'Yellow Brick Road'.

Cutting the ribbon to open the ‘Yellow Brick Road’.

 

On Wednesday morning, I cut the ribbon to open the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ at Scoil Mhuire in Blakestown.
This is a fantastic project between the school, the Blakestown Drive Community Group and Institute of Technology Blanchardstown to clean up the back entrance of the school and create a space where children can interact with nature.

 

It’s a hugely worthwhile project – congratulations to everyone involved.

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Fingal County Council needs to rapidly apply for new Government funding to have Ongar estate taken in charge

I have called on Fingal County Council to apply for newly available Government funding to progress the taking in charge of Ongar estate. This funding is part of a new scheme that the Minister for Environment announced just before the general election, designed to speed up the taking in charge of estates across the country.

The taking-in-charge process for Ongar has been delayed for years as the original developer went bust and the bond that had been put in place to pay for the completion of the estate was lodged with a British firm, which is currently refusing to pay it over to Fingal County Council. This issue is now in the British courts and will probably take years to resolve. The consequence of this is that large parts of Ongar village are in a legal no-mans-land and the Council are not able to provide residents with basic services.

I want Fingal County Council management to rapidly apply for this new source of funding that the outgoing government made available to speed up the taking-in-charge process in Ongar village, so that residents and businesses can get the same level of services from the Council as all other people who pay property tax.

Over the last year, I have been pushing the issue of the need for central Government to step in and assist local authorities in dealing with blockages in the taking in charge process. I have raised this issue both at Fingal County Council and nationally through writing to the Minister for the Environment. A previous source of money – the Special Resolution Fund – could not be used for Ongar village as it is not solely a residential estate.

I am delighted that this new fund and scheme has been proposed by the outgoing Government. I am requesting that Fingal County Council management rapidly make an application for this funding so we can get Ongar and other estates finished without having to wait for long running court cases to conclude.

Below is the text of a parliamentary question I put to the Minister for Environment to find out more information about the new scheme.

 

Question No. 777

Chun an Aire Comhshaoil, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiúil:
To the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government:

To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide details of the new initiative and funds for expediting the taking-in-charge of estates that he announced in February 2016, including details regarding the criteria that must be met before a local authority can have an estate included in the scheme; if mixed commercial and residential estates which have not been taken in charge are eligible for the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Eamon Ryan.
For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 6th April, 2016.

Ref No: 6144/16

REPLY
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly)

As the Deputy is aware, I have made €10m available from the proposed carry-over of capital savings in 2015 to be used in 2016 to fund a new initiative to accelerate the taking in charge of estates irrespective of the wider development context that they are located within.

The National Taking in Charge I nitiativ e will assist local authorities in developing new approaches to addressing housing estates that, for various reasons, have not taken in charge to date.
The initiative will involve the following.

(1) Provision by my Department of an indicative level of funding for local authorities to assist in developing demonstration projects and new working methods in tackling legacy estates.
(2) Funding will reflect both (a) the scale of estates not taken in charge and (b) the extent of developer provided water services infrastructure to be addressed, on the understanding that the Exchequer support is for 2016 only and will not create Exchequer liabilities beyond 2016.
(3) Submission by the local authorities of implementation proposals for the approval of my Department, to utilise the funding, establish demonstration projects, identify longer term funding sources and address the backlog of applications for taking in charge on hand.
(4) Publication of a national database of residential estates not taken in charge as a baseline for future action.
(5) Taking account of the experience gained from the 2016 initiative, to issue guidance to authorities on their further development of prioritised plans for taking in charge of estates from 2017 onwards, taking account of resources available through the initiative in the short term as supplemented by other funding sources in the medium to longer term.

The experience gained through the initiative in 2016 and associated demonstration projects is intended to establish a co-ordinated taking in charge programme to progressively address the issue on a multi-annual basis, in the light of available local authority, Irish Water, bond and other funding sources and the general government financial position.

I intend to advise each local authority of the indicative level of funding proposed to be made available to them in the very near future, after which they will be invited to submit proposals to be assessed by an advisory steering group.

Consideration of the submissions put forward by the local authorities on the basis of the provisional funding levels available will be weighted towards those local authorities that demonstrate a high level of collaborative problem solving and leveraging of complimentary funding from developer, bond provider, receiver or other sources.

Proposed new office development for Castleknock village

Street level view of proposed new development in Castleknock village

Street level view of proposed new development in Castleknock village

A planning application has been submitted for a 3 storey office development on a site to the rear of Nos 1-3 Castleknock Road, in Castleknock village.

The application is described as a 3 storey office development, though it has an “undercroft” car park which makes the development 3 ½ stories over-ground. The building will overlook Castleknock National School and will be accessed through a laneway beside the dental surgery. The official description of the application on the Fingal website states:

Permission for a proposed office development. The application site is an infill site to the rear of Nos 1-2 Castleknock Road (Protected Structures Ref. 768 + 769), rear of No. 3 Castleknock Road (Parkside House – Protected Structure Ref. 770) and to the rear an side of Village House/Post Office House (Protected Structures Ref. 766 + 767) on Castleknock Road. The lands are located within an Architectural Conservation Area. Permission is being sought for the construction of a 3 storey office development over part basement part undercroft car park with associated ancillary office facilities, utilisation of existing vehicular and pedestrian entrances. landscaping/boundary treatments and all associated engineering and site works necessary to facilitate the development.

Should you wish to submit an objection or observation, the deadline is close of business on the 7th April. These should be sent to the Planning Department, Fingal County Council, County Hall, Main Street Swords, Co. Dublin. Include your own name and address, and you must use the number for this planning application: FW16A/0026

You can also register online and make your objection/observation through the Fingal website. Remember, there is a €20 fee to make an objection.

If you have the chance, please forward on your objections/observations to me at rodericogorman@gmail.com.

Plan of proposed new development in Castleknock village

Plan of proposed new development in Castleknock village

Flood Risk Management Plan for Strawberry Beds / Liffey Valley

 

On Wednesday, I attended a briefing for local councillors regarding the OPW Preliminary Flood Risk Management Options document for the Strawberry Beds.

This document highlights 8 flood risk areas along the River Liffey between Lucan and Chapelizod, and sets out potential alleviation measures for each area, along with costings. In most of the areas, the preferred option is the construction of a flood wall.

The document is solely in draft stage at the moment, which is why the public consultation process is being run. Once the final strategy has been determined, the document will be published.

If you have any queries on this, please get in touch.

Reply from the Minister for Education on my query on special education resources in D15

Min Education 1

Last month I attended a meeting in St Brigid’s NS, Castleknock, with parents and teachers from local schools concerned about possible cuts in special education resources in Dublin 15. Following on from my letter to the Department of Education earlier in the month on the subject , I have received a response from the Minister for Education. The response is vague and gives little information on the pilot scheme that is being used under the new arrangements for the allocation of special needs teachers.

I will follow up the issue with whoever is the Education Minister after the election, as this response will do little to allay fears in the Dublin 15 area that resources will be cut.

Min Education 2