Archive for the 'Planning' Category

Possible Road through St Catherine’s Park

St. Catherine's Park is a key resource within the Liffey Valley and must be protected

St. Catherine’s Park is a key resource within the Liffey Valley and must be protected

In recent weeks, I have been contacted by a significant number of people concerned about a possible road being built through a section of St. Catherine’s Park. There is an ‘indicative’ road marked through the Kildare County Council section of the park on the current Fingal Development plan. I discussed this with the Fingal County Council planners and they made it clear that an ‘indicative road’ on a development plan map merely showed the general direction that a road will travel, rather than any specific route.

Despite that assurance, I can fully understand why local residents would be concerned. As such, I had put down a motion the situation in St. Catherine’s Park which was debated at a Council meeting on the 1st June. A number of other councillors had also put down motions.

You can see a link to the video of these discussions here (there’s a small problem with the microphone’s at the start of the video, but it gets resolved):

As you can see, there is strong opposition from all local councillors to any attempt to build a road through any section of St. Catherine’s Park. We are working together to see what options are available to us to change the current development plan.

I will absolutely oppose any attempt to construct a road through St. Catherine’s Park and I know my Green Party colleague on Fingal will support me in this.

Planning application at Dunsoghly

Location of the two sites for the proposed new houses

Location of the two sites for the proposed new houses

Two planning applications for a total of 73 houses have been submitted for sites at the back and the side of Dunsoughly estate.

The application Ref. numbers for the two applications are FW17A/0066 and FW17A/0067.

If you wish to make an objection or observation on one or both of these applications, your objection must contain your name, address and the planning application Ref. number. An objection should be sent to the Planning Department, Fingal County Council, County Hall, Main Street Swords, Co. Dublin. You can also register online and make your objection/observation through the Fingal website here.

There is a €20 fee to make an objection. As there are two planning applications here, if you want to object to them both, you have to submit two separate objection letters (and two separate €20 fees).

The deadline for objections is the 29th May.

I organised for the two planning application be discussed at the Fingal Local Area Committee on the 4th May. Myself and the other councillors put questions to the Planners about the application. You can find a link to the video of this discussion here (the discussion of Dunsoghly is at 4:00 and then again at 24:00).

I am working with the residents group and the other councillors to assist residents in making their submissions to Fingal County Council. If you want to get in touch with me about this, my email is rodericogorman@gmail.com and number is 087 4179777.

New planning application near Clonsilla village

A planning app has been submitted for the site a the corner of the Clonsilla Rd and the Clonsilla Link Rd.

A planning app has been submitted for the site a the corner of the Clonsilla Rd and the Clonsilla Link Rd.

A significant new planning application has been submitted for the site at the corner of the Clonsilla Road and Clonsilla Link Road, beside Porters Gate estate.

The proposed development is for:

  • 103 residential units in total (made up of 67 two storey houses and 36 apartments in two 3 storey blocks)
  • A two storey convenience food store of 1,300m2 aprox
  • A single storey building with a cafe and shop
  • 40 carparking spaces for the aparetment blocks and 82 spaces for the commercial development
  • An ESB substation
  • New entrance off the Clonsilla Link Road (opposite entrance to Castlefield Court)

There is already planning permission in existence (which applies up to 2020) for 166 residential units (138 apartments and 28 houses) and some commercial units on this site.

The applicant number is FW16a/0176. The deadline for submission is the 13th Jan.

Feel free to get in touch if you wish to discuss this or any other issues with me.

My Observations on Lidl Appeal

 

Monday was the deadline for observations to An Bord Pleanala regarding the five appeals made to the Bord about the grant of planning permission for the Lidl development at Castleknock village.

You can see my observation below.

An Bord Pleanala have up to 6 months to rule on the appeal.

 

The Secretary,

An Bord Pleanála,

64 Marlborough St.,

Dublin 1.

20/11/16

Re: Observation on Appeal An Bord Pleanála Ref: PL06F.247458 (Fingal FW16A/0006)

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to make an observation on the appeal to An Bord Pleanala made by the Castleknock Residents Action Group (CRAG), submitted on the 25th October, in respect of the grant of planning permission by Fingal County Council for the construction of a Lidl supermarket and other buildings under application FW16A/0006. I am supporting their appeal under the headings of:

  • Increased Traffic Movement in Castleknock Village
  • Parking
  • Area of Architectural Conservation
  • Castleknock Park

My address is 1 Avon Lodge, the Plaza, Main Street Blanchardstown, D15 X898.

I enclose the €50 fee for an observation.

Yours sincerely,

_________________

Cllr. Roderic O’Gorman

 

Introduction – Context of the Development

This proposed development is for a significant back-lands site in the centre of Castleknock development. It has been the focus of a number of planning applications over the last ten years, with An Bord Pleanala rejecting an appeal against a refusal of planning permission by Fingal County Council in December 2014 and rejecting an appeal against a grant of planning permission for the original Uxbridge proposal in February 2010. All of these proposals have been widely opposed by the vast majority of residents in the area. While it is accepted that this site will be developed, both the current application and the previous ones are regarded as being unacceptable on the combined basis of their scale in a low-rise urban village, their incongruity in an architectural conservation area, their potential impact on adjoining established estates and the impact that the extra traffic generated will cause on the surrounding area.

 

Increased Traffic Movement in Castleknock Village

The proposed development is in close proximity to three national schools: Castleknock National School (1 stream), St. Brigids National School (4 stream) and Castleknock Educate Together National School (2 stream). The size of these schools gives an indication of the degree of movement occurring during the school run period. Both Castleknock National School and the Education Together would have catchment areas running far wider that the Castleknock village area, necessitating the use of cars to get to and from school.

The grant of planning permission allows for opening hours from 8:00am and deliveries from 7:00am. The extra level of traffic activity generated from deliveries and shoppers accessing the development causes concerns from both the point of view of increased congestion, but also safety issues for children walking or cycling to the local schools.

 

Parking

The grant of planning permission allows the development proceed with a significant under-provision of car parking facilities compared to the requirements of the Fingal Development Plan for commercial developments at Table TO3b in the Fingal Development Plan 2011-17. The justification for the provision of 113 spaces, as opposed to the recommended level of 213 spaces, is speculative in the extreme and does not warrant an under-provision of 47% vis-à-vis the recommended amount. Objective Castleknock 2 in the Fingal Development Plan 2011-17 requires that any infill development will improve the physical and environmental characteristics of the village. It is submitted that the overflow parking that will be generated from the under-provision at the proposed development will negatively impact on both the physical and environmental characteristic of the village, which already suffers from a lack of parking spaces.

 

Area of Architectural Conservation

Castleknock is a historic village and this has been given statutory recognition through the creation of an architectural conservation area (ACA) in the centre of the village as part of successive Fingal County Council development plans. While the applicants for planning permission claim to have created a design that is sympathetic with the existing low rise and red brick theme of the village main street, it is difficult from an objective point of view to accept that this has been achieved. The design, materials and stark modernity of the proposed development are completely at odds with the existing scheme of the village. It is submitted that the proposed development breaches Objective AH17 of the Fingal Development Plan 2011-17:

Ensure that any new development or alteration of a building within or adjoining an ACA

positively enhances the character of the area and is appropriate in terms of the proposed design, including: scale, mass, height, proportions, density, layout, materials, plot ratio, and building lines.

The proposed new development does not enhance the character of the area, is not appropriate in terms of scale, mass, layout, material and building lines.

 

Castleknock Park

In the event of a decision to uphold the grant of planning permission, I would argue that An Bord Pleanala should re-examine Condition 12 of the planning permission as decided by Fingal. In the original Uxbridge application, as approved by An Bord Pleanala, provision was made for a full wall at the boundary between the site and Castleknock Park. This has been downgraded to a wall with some fencing on-top under the current grant of planning permission. It light of the major change to the area that would result from the proposed development in terms of increased noise, visual intrusion, lack of privacy, I would submit that at the very least, residents of Castleknock Park should be entitled to have a complete barrier in the form of a full wall placed between their estate and the new development, in order to protect their residential amenity, as is currently provided for under the ‘RS’ zoning that currently applies to this estate.

Provision for cycling within the new Fingal Development Plan

Throughout October, myself and the other Fingal councillors were voting on amendments to the new draft Fingal Development Plan.

One issue which got a lot of public attention was some decisions taken about the provision of cycling facilities across Fingal. Myself and my Green Party colleague, Cllr. David Healy, had put forward a proposal that when new schools are being built, the Council should acquire any pieces of land around the schools that would be necessary to create a safe walking or cycling route to that school.

We saw this as both important from the point of view of road safety, but also that it is more sensible to try and secure safe routes at the point when a school is being built, as opposed to trying to retro-fit walking and cycling routes onto an existing school.

After a long and fairly contentious debate (you can watch here), our motion was defeated 19 – 16. I was both surprised and disappointed by this. While many councillors who voted against the motion stated they were in favour of safe cycling, I was deeply unconvinced by their reasons for rejecting it.

Subsequently, a majority of councillors rejected a second proposal from Cllr. Healy and myself to place restrictions on HGVs around schools at drop-off times.

On the other hand, we were successful in getting a requirement for a 30kmph zone in proximity to primary and secondary schools, which can be implemented once the draft Development Plan is passed in March 2017. I also had an objective inserted promoting cycle route linkages between Castleknock village with both the Phoenix Park and Blanchardstown village.

Update on Brady’s apartment proposal

Clarifications sought by Fingal planners from developer

Clarifications sought by Fingal planners from developer

I received a notification from Fingal in the last few days that the planners have again written to the developers of the proposed apartments at Brady’s, looking for ‘Clarification of Additional Information’.

I’m pleased to see that the specific issue that I raised in my own recent submission – the failure to include a shadow analysis for the Winter period – was one of the two points that the Council planners identified as lacking in what the developers have supplied to date.

It is essential that the planners are given the correct information about the impact of the proposed four storey apartment blocks on the surrounding existing homes.

Once the developers supply this, we shall have another opportunity to make submissions.

New Census figures show Dublin 15 needs public transport investment to deal with increased population

Table of Top-Ten fastest growing Electoral Districts in the country

Table of Top-Ten fastest growing Electoral Districts in the country

Today’s initial Census 2016 figures show that of the top-ten fastest growing electoral districts in the country, three are located in the Dublin 15 area. These are Blanchardstown-Blakestown (which includes Ongar), The Ward (including Tyrrelstown) and Blanchardstown-Abbotstown (including Waterville). The Census is giving statistical proof of something that Dublin 15 residents know all too well. More and more houses are being built, but the services, particularly in the area of public transport, are not being provided to match.

Last year I highlighted how the Capital Infrastructure Plan 2016-2021 delivered little for Dublin West in terms of improving our public transport infrastructure. For example, no funding was provided in it for the Bus Rapid Transit scheme from Ongar to UCD. This was despite the fact that the BRT is regarded as the major transport solution for the Ongar/West Blanchardstown area.

As these Census results demonstrate the sustained population growth in Dublin 15, it is essential that the new Minister for Transport review the Capital Infrastructure Plan before 2021 and give funding for projects in west Dublin. We cannot afford five years of traffic gridlock.

I have objected to the proposed 4 storey apartment block at the Brady’s Pub site

I have submitted an objection to Fingal County Council, calling on it to reject planning permission for a proposed 4 storey apartment on the site of Brady’s Pub, on the Old Navan Road beside Blanchardstown. The planning application proposes 41 two and three bed apartments.

My main concern is that the proposed development is completely out of keeping with the two storey family homes in the estates that surround it. At its maximum height, the apartment block would be four stories high. This will completely overshadow the houses in the vicinity, blocking their light and removing their privacy.

I also believe that this proposal represents a major overdevelopment of the Brady’s pub site. Under the current Development Plan, the zoning objective for this land is to “Provide for residential development and protect and improve residential amenity”. This proposal would severely impact on amenity for existing residents. I think it is unsuitable for this site. The developer should be looking to build family sized houses here instead.

The application itself acknowledged that it does not meet the minimum required number of car-parking spaces as set out under the current Fingal Development Plan. The Old Navan Road along with the Talbot estate roads are already subject to commuter parking on most weekdays. An apartment block of the density proposed will undoubtedly have a significant number of two car households. The fact that the current proposal underprovides for visitor car-parking means that extra parking will be generated on the surrounding roads.