Archive for the 'Development Plan' Category

Royal Canal Greenway Public Consultation

Fingal County Council are undertaking a significant infrastructure project in building a cycle and pedestrian path along the bank of the Royal Canal between the bridge at Castleknock Train Station and Ashtown Train Station.

This will be accompanied by a range of supporting work, improving access to the canal, providing lightening and also landscaping. These works follow on from a public consultation undertaken by Fingal CC last year.

You can find a link to the details of these plans and relevant maps here.

Fingal CC will be accepting public submissions on this plan up until 5.00pm Thursday 14th March, 2013.

You can make a submission by emailing devplan@fingalcoco.ie or by writing to:

Senior Executive Officer,

Planning & Strategic Infrastructure Department,

Fingal County Council,

Main Street,

Swords,

Co Dublin.

I’ll be making a submission, so feel free to get in touch with me if you wish me to include your views in my submission.

Kilmartin LAP needs serve needs for Tyrrelstown and Hollystown residents

Green Party Dublin West representative, Roderic O’Gorman has called on Fingal County Council to ensure that the existing needs of residents of Tyrrelstown and Hollystown are met through the Kilmartin Local Area Plan (LAP). He was speaking as he made his submission to the public consultation on the LAP.

“Tyrrelstown and Hollystown have seen huge growth in the last ten years, but this has not been matched by the provision of necessary infrastructure. Permanent school and community facilities are only being provided now, over ten years after the Tyrrelstown was first opened”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“The Kilmartin LAP offers an opportunity for Fingal County Council to address some of the infrastructure deficit in these communities. It also could allow Hollystown to be joined to Tyrrelstown, with provision for footpaths and cycle-paths to link significant infrastructure such as schools, community centres and commercial centres. Public transport will also be needed to serve any new residential developments. Consideration should be given to extending the 40D route through the Kilmartin lands and onto Hollystown”.

“While I feel Fingal County Council made a mistake in zoning new land at Tyrrelstown for residential purposes in the recent County Development Plan, the Kilmartin LAP offers a chance to plan for the wider Tyrrelstown area in a long term, structured way. I look forward to seeing the first draft once it is published by the Council, and commenting on it”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

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When you lose a Green voice, bad planning decisions get made

 

Over the last two years, residents of Castleknock have been strong in their opposition to the Castleknock Urban Centre Strategy (UCS), which was foisted upon them by the Council management. Their opposition is based on the fact that it would allow for completely inappropriate development in a historic village like Castleknock. Over the last three years since the UCS was first mooted, I have worked alongside residents in trying to change it and have opposed the major development in the centre of the village based upon it.

Regrettably, the views of residents were completely ignored by councillors from Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, who along with some independents and two Labour Party councillors, voted not to remove the Urban Centre Strategy from the Draft Fingal County Development Plan.

Ironically, the vote was passed by a margin of one [p2320-1]. A local Fianna Fail councillor who narrowly beat me in Castleknock in the Local Elections in 2009, abstained rather than following residents wishes and voting against the UCS. If I had been elected instead of her, we could have had a tied vote and pressured the Mayor to use his casting vote against the UCS.

In my recent submission on the final stage of the Draft Fingal Development Plan, I have called on the Council to insert a provision stating that no planning permission will be granted for buildings in Castleknock village over three storeys. This can be done by making an amendment to the reference to Castleknock village in the Strategic Overview of the Development Plan.

I’m calling on both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael councillors to support my proposal. As we enter into a general election campaign, these politicians must stop ignoring the wishes of locals and vote to ensure that there are at least some controls on development in Castleknock village.

Castleknock residents let down by Council – O’Gorman

Green Party Dublin West representative, Roderic O’Gorman has expressed major disappointment at the vote by Fingal county councillors not to delete references to the controversial Castleknock Urban Centre Strategy from the Fingal Development Plan.

“I’m deeply disappointed to see that residents of Castleknock Village have been let down by the Council in its vote not to remove references to the highly controversial Castleknock Urban Centre Strategy (UCS) from the Fingal Development Plan. The UCS was imposed imposed on Castleknock by the Council management. As a direct result of this, the hugely unpopular 5 storey development behind the Flower Shop was given planning permission. In the run up to the local elections, all our local representatives were very vocal in saying they were going to stand up for Castleknock. Instead, the Council have now actually endorsed the use of the UCS in the new County Development Plan”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“The vote on the motion to delete the UCS was defeated very narrowly: 11 in favour – 12 against. Voting against were 5 Fine Gael councillors, 3 Fianna Fail councillors, 2 Labour councillors and 2 independents. Local Fine Gael councillor Eithne Loftus was the only member of Fine Gael to support the motion, even though Fine Gael representative had been very critical of the UCS. Local Fianna Fail councillor Mags Murray, bravely abstained, thus allowing the vote to be defeated”.

“Yet again we see Fingal County Council taking decisions that are completely opposed by residents. In the run up to the local elections in June 2009 and since, I have regularly been on the doors in Castleknock Village where there is near unanimous opposition to the Urban Centre Strategy. I hope Castleknock residents will remember the actions of the political parties and local councillors, next time they come around looking for votes”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

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NOTE

A link to the relevant FCC minutes can be found here. The vote on the Castleknock UCS is noted on page 44.

O’Gorman meets Minister Cuffe over concerns about Castleknock development

03/08/10

Green Party Dublin West representative, Roderic O’Gorman and a delegation from the Castleknock Residents Action Group (CRAG) met with the Minister for State for Planning, Ciaran Cuffe to discuss concerns about a large scale development in Castleknock Village.

“Last week I took a delegation from the Castleknock Residents Action Group (CRAG) to meet the Minister for State for Planning, Ciaran Cuffe. CRAG had requested this meeting in order to be able to discuss with Minister Cuffe their concerns about the large commercial and residential development in the centre of Castleknock Village behind the old Flower Shop. This development has met with massive resistance from residents of the village, but has been pushed strongly by Fingal County Council”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“Myself and the CRAG representative outlined to the Minister our concerns about how Fingal County Council drew up an Urban Centre Strategy for Castleknock, but never put the draft version out to public consultation and never permitted local councillors to officially vote on it. We also highlighted how the architects firm that drew up the UCS for the Council were also at the same time drawing up the planning application for the developer of the Flower Shop site”.

“While as a Minister in the Department of the Environment, Ciaran Cuffe cannot interfere with the grant of planning permission by a local authority or An Bord Pleanala, he did express his surprise at the manner in which this situation was handled and in particular, the way in which the views of the residents of Castleknock Village have been completely ignored. He asked myself and CRAG to supply him with more details of our concerns surrounding the process followed by Fingal County Council”.  

“Going forward, it is absolutely essential that all references to this flawed Urban Centre Strategy are deleted from the current draft of the Fingal County Development Plan, so that it does not get statutory approval through the back door. Both myself and CRAG will be pressuring local councillors to make this vital amendment”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

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Further Information

Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

Press Release – Calls for Implementation Strategy for Fingal Development Plan

21/06/10

Green Party Dublin West representative, Roderic O’Gorman has called on Fingal County Council to include an Implementation Strategy as part of the new County Development Plan.

“While we warmly welcome much of the content of the Draft Plan, one area where is falls down significantly is the lack of a clear plan to monitor implementation. Under S. 15 of the Planning & Development Act, 2000 and the related guidelines, there is a duty on the Local Authority to secure the objectives of the Development Plan. It is stated that that policies and objectives must be capable of implementation and it must be possible to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness or otherwise of achieving stated aims”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“Regrettably, the Draft Development Plan does not set out in detail any measures which will allow substantial monitoring of its implementation. This means that it will be extremely difficult to judge the success of Fingal County Council in achieving the goals set out in the Draft Development Plan. What good is a plan if we cannot measure whether it has been put in place or not”?

“In light of this, I have called for the insertion of an Implementation Chapter, setting out clear targets in each of the areas that the Draft Plan covers. This will both allow a proper evaluation of the success or otherwise of the Council in putting the Development Plan into effect, but it will also meet the requirements of the legislation and statutory guidelines”.

“I hope both the councillors and the County Manager take account of this common sense suggestion”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

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Press Release – School and Transport needs of Young People need to be strengthened in Fingal Development Plan – O’Gorman

15/06/10

Dublin West Green Party representative, Roderic O’Gorman has called on Fingal County Council to introduce policies on safe routes to school and new schools. He was speaking as the Dublin West Green Party made its submission on the Draft County Development Plan.

“The Draft Fingal County Development Plan 2011-17 sets out the goals that Fingal County Council will be seeking to achieve over the next 6 years. I believe that as part of this, it is vital that the Council adopts a Safe Routes to School scheme and a New Schools Strategy”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“In my initial submission on the Development Plan, I suggested that Fingal County Council commit to initiating a Safe-Routes to School scheme across the county. My proposal did not make it into the Draft Plan so I am again calling for this measure to be adopted”.

“Such a Safe Routes to School strategy would involve bringing together parents, teachers, the Gardai and Council officials to plan a safe route to school strategy for each school. This would involve improving pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes and footpaths in the vicinity of schools as well as reducing speed limits and introducing a ban on heavy goods vehicles around school districts. A further element would be to ensure the provision of bike sheds in schools so students have a safe place to park their bicycles”.

“It is important to note that the Renewed Programme for Government commits to the rolling out of a ‘Safe Routes to School’ strategy across the whole country by 2012. As such, Fingal should act now to be in the position to benefit from central funding to facilitate the roll out of the project”.

“Another key area where the current Draft Plan does not go far enough is in relation to new schools. Fingal has suffered severely from the failure to adequately zone land for schools at primary and secondary level over the last 10 years. The Strategic Overview of the Draft Plan notes the very high percentage of young children in the county. This will have a significant impact on the need for new and larger schools over the period of the Draft Plan”.

“I have argued that the provisions within the Urban Fingal Chapter on providing new schools are too vague and run the risk of the same delays in obtaining sites for schools that have been experienced in the last five years. I am proposing that a New Schools Strategy needs to be devised, which will allow for enhanced communications between the Council, the Forward Planning Section of the Department of the Environment, patron bodies and local communities. This New Schools Strategy should be given specific recognition in the Development Plan”.

“The first priority of the New Schools Strategy would be to identify if there is existing and planned capacity for the number of classrooms that the Forward Planning Section of the Department estimate will be needed across Fingal. In areas where there is a shortfall, measures must be taken immediately to remedy this situation”.

“As part of the New Schools Strategy, there needs to be consistency as to the zoning that is given to a site that is intended to be used as a school. All such sites should be zoned as Objective CI – ‘Community Infrastructure”.

“These two measures are part of a number that I and the Dublin West Green Party included in our submission on the Draft Development Plan. They come as a result of going door to door and discussing these issues with residents of Dublin 15, a public meeting that we held and our interaction with planners and relevant community groups. While I will not be in a position to vote on the Development Plan, I would strongly urge local councillors to adopt these common sense measures”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

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Dublin West Green Party Submission on Draft Development Plan

To whom it may concern,

Please find below the submission from the Dublin West Green Party on the Draft Fingal County Council Development Plan 2011-2017. This document follows our initial submission to the first round of public consultation last year.

Yours sincerely,

Roderic O’Gorman

Green Party Representative, Dublin West

Summary of Key Points:

–       Remove all references to the Castleknock Urban Centre Strategy

–       Include a section on a Safe Routes to School Strategy

–       Include a New Schools Strategy. This would set out a new means of identifying and securing sites for schools in areas where these are needed.

–       Leave the zoning of the land along the N3 as it currently is – Green Belt.

–       Amend Local Area Objective 537 to allow for a ¾ length 1 storey car park and associated landscaping works.

–          Include a new Local Area Objective of a double pedestrian crossing at the Castleknock Road – Roselawn Road junction.

–       Include a new Local Area Objective for Castleknock Village, stating that future development in Castleknock Village would be limited to three storeys.

–       Include a new Local Area Objective for Hartstown Park, making provision for a scout den for Huntstown Scouts to be located there.

–        Include a new Implementation Chapter, setting out clear targets in each of the areas that the Draft Plan covers. This will both allow a proper evaluation of the success or otherwise of the Council in putting the Development Plan into effect, but it will also meet the requirements of the legislation and statutory guidelines.

Detailed Points

Strategic Overview

Castleknock ‘Objectives’: There has been widespread dissatisfaction with the manner in which the Urban Centre Strategy or Castleknock Village was adopted, both as regards containing recommendations totally at varience with what residents suggested and the failure to allow a vote of elected councillors on the plan. In light of this, we call for the removal of all references to the Urban Centre Strategy from the Development Plan.

Green Infrastructure

We welcome this detailed section as innovative and a positive outcome from measures adopted by Fingal County Council, such as its ‘Green Infrastructure Conference’ to promote this aspect of planning.

Physical Intrastructure

Safe Routes to School

In our initial submission, we called for the Development Plan to commit Fingal County Council to initiating the introduction of a Safe-Routes to School scheme across the county. This has not made it into the Draft Plan and we would again recommend that this should form part of the Plan. We note that the Renewed Programme for Government of commits to the rolling out of a ‘Safe Routes to School’ strategy across the country by 2012. As such, Fingal should act now to be in the position to benefit from central funding to facilitate the roll out of the project.

In Fingal, such a Safe Routes to School strategy would involve bringing together parents, teachers, the Gardai and Council officials to plan a safe route to school strategy for each school. This would involve improving pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes and footpaths in the vicinity of schools as well as reducing speed limits and introducing a ban on heavy goods vehicles around school districts. A further element would be to ensure the provision of bike sheds in schools so students have a safe place to park their bicycles.

Urban Fingal

Schools

Fingal has suffered severely from the failure to adequately zone land for schools at primary and secondary level over the last 10 years. The Strategic Overview of the Draft Plan notes the very high percentage of young children in the county. This will have a significant impact on the need for new and larger schools over the period of the Draft Plan

Selecting School Sites – ‘New Schools Strategy’

Section 1.3 of the Strategic Policy Chapter emphasises at Point 17 the need for “timely provision of schools”. Similar sentiments are expressed in the Urban Fingal Chapter at Objective Cl18 which states “Reserve individual sites for primary & secondary schools in consultation with the Dept. Education …”.

We argue that as these provisions currently stand, they are too vague and run the risk of the same delays in obtaining sites for schools that have been experienced in the last five years. We would suggest that a New Schools Strategy needs to be devised, which will allow for enhanced communications between the Council, the Forward Planning Section of the Department of the Environment, Patron bodies and local communities. This New Schools Strategy should be given specific recognition in the Development Plan.

The first priority of the New Schools Strategy would be to identify if there is existing and planned capacity for the number of classrooms that the Forward Planning Section of the Department estimate will be needed across Fingal. In areas where there is a shortfall, measures must be taken immediately to remedy this situation.

As part of the New Schools Strategy, there needs to be consistency as to the zoning that is given to a site that is intended to be used as a school. All such sites should be zoned as Objective CI ‘Community Infrastructure’.

Zoning

We welcome the de-zoning of land out of the Residential Area category at the Castleknock College playing pitches and also the land between Mulhuddart and Tyrrelstown.

Zoning of land beside N3 between Ashtown and Little Chef

The zoning of this site has been at issue over a number of years. An effort was made to rezone it during the previous Development Plan process and there was an unsuccessful attempt to initiate a draft variation of the land in 2008. The current plan proposes changing the land from Green Space to High Technology.

We argue that at this time, the land in question should not be rezoned, but retained at its current zoning. We are concerned about the flooding implications that developing this piece of land could have for the N3, particularly in light of the fact it holds large amounts of rain water after heavy showers. Lack of similar absorbency zones resulted in the flooding of the N3 close to the Quinn Building last year.

We also believe that the site forms an important green break between the city at Ashtown and Castleknock/Blanchardstown. It also forms part of the wider Abbotstown greenbelt that Fingal County Council intend to develop over the next few years. Dublin 15 already has significant amounts of land zoned at High Technology and as such, it is not essential that this site be zoned similarly.

Local Area Objectives

Changes to Current LAO’s

–       LAO 537 – “provide car park for the train station with not more than two levels of parking”. At this site, there is a need to balance the requirement for more car parking close to the train station, with the residential amenity of those currently living in Cherry Estate and Rosehaven. We would suggest amending the current LAO to permitting a 1 storey over ground level carpark, stretching back from the road three quarters of the way towards the border with Cherry Estate. The LAO should specify that landscaping measures should be undertaken between the car park and Cherry/Rosehaven and further, that no other commercial development should be permitted on the site.

Suggested new LAO’s

–          We suggest the inclusion of a new LAO of a double pedestrian crossing at the Castleknock Road – Roselawn Road junction.

–          We suggest the inclusion of a new LAO for Castleknock Village, similar to LAO 479 for Blanchardstown Village, stating that future development in Castleknock Village would be limited to three storeys.

–          We suggest a new Local Area Objective for Hartstown Park, making provision for a scout den for Huntstown Scouts to be located there.

Requirement for an Implementation Chapter

While we warmly welcome much of the content of the Draft Plan, one area where is falls down is the lack of a clear plan to monitor implementation. Under S. 15 of the Planning & Development Act, 2000, there is a duty on the Local Authority to secure the objectives of the Development Plan. Further detail is set out tine S.6 of the Development Plan Guidelines 1997. These state that that policies and objectives must be capable of implementation and it must be possible to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness or otherwise of achieving stated aims. Monitoring involves the collation and analysis of performance data which must be linked to an evaluation process so that effectiveness can be measured against stated criteria.

Regrettably, the Draft Development Plan does not set out in detail any measures which will allow substantial monitoring of its implementation. This means that it will be extremely difficult to judge the success of Fingal County Council in achieving the goals set out in the Draft Development Plan.

In light of this, we request the creation of an Implementation Chapter, setting out clear targets in each of the areas that the Draft Plan covers. This will both allow a proper evaluation of the success or otherwise of the Council in putting the Development Plan into effect, but it will also meet the requirements of the legislation and statutory guidelines.