Strategic Housing Development application at Windmill estate

A planning application has been submitted by Kimpton Vale Ltd for 211 apartments in four blocks, ranging in height from six to eight storeys, at the Windmill estate, beside St. Mochtas. It is proposed that there will be 10 studio units, 68 1 bed units and 133 2 bed units. You can see the plans at the developers website www.windmillshd.ie

I have major concerns about this application in terms of the size and scale of what is being proposed. There is already planning permission on this site for 143 apartments. Increasing this by 68 units is excessive.

Because the development is for more than 100 units of housing, the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) process applies. This means that the application is decided directly by An Bord Pleanala – Fingal County Council does not decide the planning application.

However, the Fingal planners must present the planning application to local councillors under the Strategic Housing Development law and we then have the opportunity to highlight our concerns to the planners. This took place at our Council meeting today. You can watch my own comments here.

My own submission focused on 1) the overall excessive and inappropriate nature of this development 2) why an emergency entrance into St. Mochta’s estate was being required 3) the lack of childcare facilities in the proposed development 4) the existing pressure on local primary schools 5) the fact that existing public transport networks are unable to absorb large numbers of extra commuters.

The deadline for submissions to An Bord Pleanala is 14th January 2020.
Any person may make a submission in writing to:
An Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1
Any submission or observation must be accompanied by the prescribed fee of €20.

If you would like to discuss these or any other issue with me, please get in touch.

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.

St Mochta’s NS Update

Dail question put down to Minister for Education on my behalf by Catherine Martin TD
Dail question put down to Minister for Education on my behalf by Catherine Martin TD

This is the response to the Dail question that my colleague, Catherine Martin TD, submitted to the Minister for Education on my behalf regarding the withdrawal of funding for St. Mochta’s NS.

As you can see, at this stage the Minister has not reversed his decision. The Chair of the school board and the principal are meeting with the Minister next Thursday (29th). Hopefully at that stage, the Minister will have reconsidered.

There will be a public meeting in the school that evening, which I will be attending. I would encourage all concerned members of the St Mochta’s NS / Clonsilla community to attend.

 

Education Minister must provide funding for St Mochta’s NS

The decision of the Department of Education to deny St Mochtas N.S. funding for its rebuild, even though this was publicly promised last November, is a huge blow to the pupils and the entire community in Clonsilla. Conditions in the prefabs in the school are appalling and it is outrageous that children are expected to learn in them.

The Minister for Education must explain why the commitment made to St Mochtas is being broken. The Green Party will be putting a Dail question to him on this issue.

I will continue to work as part of the St Mochtas Task Force, to put pressure on the Department to provide the promised funding.

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

I have received a commitment from the National Transport Authority regarding consultation with residents in the event of future level crossing closures

Response from NTA to me confirming commitment to consult with residents in event of new proposals to close level crossings
Response from NTA to me confirming commitment to consult with residents in event of new proposals to close level crossings

I am delighted to have received confirmation from the National Transport Authority (NTA) that, if there are future proposals to close level crossings in the Dublin 15 area, the NTA will engage in genuine consultation with affected local communities, beyond any consultation that is required under legislation.

This confirmation was contained in a letter to me from Anne Graham, the Chief Executive of the NTA. This forms an important guarantee for Dublin 15 residents which will ensure that their views are not ignored in any future changes.

The attempt to close the Porterstown Road level crossing a number of years ago was badly mishandled and was a top-down attempt to impose a decision on a local community. Vigorous activism by local residents blocked the proposal, but the entire episode undermined confidence in the NTA. Since then, I have been working to ensure that a new approach is taken by the organisation, in the event that it seeks to make changes to the level crossings in the future.

Within Fingal County Council, I successfully submitted an amendment to the draft Fingal Development Plan to ensure that the Council officials accept the principle of prior consultation regarding the future of the level crossings. Now, I have also secured acceptance of this principle form the National Transport Authority.

NTA plans to provide ‘real time bus monitor’ at Clonsilla Station

 

The National Transport Authority has confirmed to me that it plans to provide a real time bus monitor at the city-bound bus stop beside Clonsilla Train Station and that it will give consideration to a second monitor in Clonsilla village.

There are currently no city-bound real time bus monitors in the Clonsilla area. As the village is served by the 39 bus route, which is far less frequent than the 39a route, it is important that commuters waiting at bus stops are given good notice of the arrival of buses. I wrote to the National Transport Authority and suggested that they install bus monitors in two specific locations – one at the bus stop beside Clonsilla Train Station and at the other at the stop in the middle of the village.

The NTA has responded by saying that they have identified the stop beside Clonsilla Station as a location for a real time monitor. They are currently awaiting funding for the next round of installations. The NTA also stated that they will consider the second stop in Clonsilla village in future phases of installations.

I welcome these commitments from the NTA. Placing a real time monitor beside Clonsilla Train Station will allow for better connectivity between bus and train routes in the area and would be of real benefit to commuters. I am calling on the Minister for Transport to rapidly provided the funding for the next found of real time monitor installations.

 

Reply – NTA – real time monitors in Clonsilla

Good news as St Mochta’s NS submits planning application for new school

 

It is great to see that St Mochta’s have put in their planning application for the demolition of the exiting school and the construction of a new building on the current site. This has been a long time coming, and I warmly welcome it.

This is a really large national school with four separate streams, giving 32 classes in total. The current school is absolutely no longer fit for purpose. The building is far too small for the population of over 800 pupils. Some of the prefabs in which students are taught are dark and extremely damp.

A Task Force (of which I’m a member) was established by the school’s Board of Management a number of years ago, to progress this building project. It has gone to great lengths to keep both the school community and those living in the vicinity informed about the development. A briefing was given in November 2013 during the public meeting on the proposed closing of the Porterstown level crossing. Then late last year, the school organised a public meeting where the architect went through the plans in detail, in order to hear and address any concerns about the design.

A big school like St Mochta’s generates significant traffic. A lot of work in designing the layout of the new building has focused on reducing this as much as possible. Once finished, the new layout will have a much larger drop off area for parents, which will no longer be directly on the Porterstown Road. This will go some way to reducing current levels of congestion.

The architects have also incorporated the old ‘White School’ building into the new design, so this Clonsilla landmark will be preserved and continue to have a function in the school.

Real thought and attention has gone into the planning of this new school building. I strongly support it and I hope that it is swiftly granted planning permission by the Fingal County Council planners.