Archive for the 'Castleknock' Category

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.


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.



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.

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

Plan of proposed new development in Castleknock village

Plan of proposed new development in Castleknock village

New e-car charge points in Dublin 15

New ecar charge point on Mill Road, Blanchardstown

New ecar charge point on Mill Road, Blanchardstown

I’m pleased that that Fingal County Council had identified locations and permitted the installation of these free public e-car charge points by the ESB. The charge points are on Park Avenue in Castleknock and Mill Road in Blanchardstown. What is good about these new points is that they are on the public road and are therefore free to access. All the charge points previously in Dublin 15 were on private property, and there were questions about the cost of using them.

The ESB have been rolling out these public charge points across the country over the last few years. They are provided at no cost to the local authority, other than finding a location to install them. I’ve been pushing to have more of these free e-car charge points in Dublin 15 since I was elected last year, as Fingal was behind some other local authorities in terms of getting them installed.

Consumers continue to buy e-cars as they seem them as cheaper and more efficient to run, as well as their environmental benefits. This new charging infrastructure in Dublin 15 means that users now have even greater opportunity to use them.


Dublin West Green Party holds successful Royal Canal Clean-Up

Volunteers with some of the rubbish collected on the annual Dublin West Green Party Royal Canal Clean-Up

Volunteers with some of the rubbish collected on the annual Dublin West Green Party Royal Canal Clean-Up

I want to thank all the volunteers who were out with us this evening for our Annual Royal Canal Clean-Up. We worked a stretch of the Canal between the 12th Lock and Coolmine Train Station, picking up cans, glass, plastic bottles and other rubbish. We got a significant amount of waste collected, which Fingal County Council is now going to dispose of.

What is particularly positive is that, in the eight years we have been doing this, I’ve never seen the canal bank so lightly littered. There was significantly less waste this year than on previous occasions. This is a good sign and suggests people are valuing the Canal more

The Royal Canal continues to be a significant amenity for Dublin 15 residents and a potential tourist attraction for visitors interested in walking or cycling holidays. In the context of the new Fingal County Development Plan, I’m going to continue to work to ensure that it is protected for everyone’s enjoyment.

Royal Canal Clean-Up: Wed, 17th June


The annual Dublin West Green Party Royal Canal-Clean Up will take place on Wednesday, 17th June, meeting at 7:00pm at Castleknock Train Station.

We plan to work on the stretch to the 12th Lock and towards Coolmine Station.

Gloves and bags will be provided.

Hope to see you on the 17th.

College Grove: One size fits all approach to parking in estates will not work


At the Council meeting on Thursday, we had an extensive debate about the refusal by Fingal County Council to put in place extra double yellow lines in College Grove beside Castleknock village. A significant number of residents from the estate turned up to hear the discussion.


There are certain estates that suffer from parking issues not directly related to the estate itself. Portergate in Clonsilla used to have severe parking issues due to Clonsilla train station. Roselawn Road continues to have similar issues, caused by Castleknock Station. And College Grove in Castleknock has a major parking problem due to the fact that it is linked to the large College Wood estate, where insufficient parking was provided by the original developer.


In these type of situations, I feel that the Council has to do more to assist residents. As such, I was disappointed by the refusal of Fingal County Council to place extra double yellow lines in College Grove. The Council’s argument is that double yellow lines are solely for safety and are not for traffic management. However, I think this one size fits all approach fails to recognise that certain places, like College Grove, suffer disproportionately badly from non-resident parking and should be given extra support.

I’ll be pushing for a new Urban Centre Strategy for Castleknock village


The recent rejection of the Lidl planning application for the Flower-Shop site in Castleknock gives the opportunity to bring forward a new urban centre strategy (UCS) for the village. The current urban centre strategy, which would permit high rise development within the centre of the village, has been used as the basis for a range of inappropriate planning applications over the last number of years.

As a meeting of the Castleknock/Mulhuddart local area committee last September, the Council indicated that they were prepared to bring forward a new urban centre strategy for the village. This announcement was welcomed by myself, fellow councillors and local residents.

However, in response to question posed by me at a meeting of the Castleknock/Mulhuddart local area committee last week, the Council management appeared to indicate that the new urban centre strategy for Castleknock will form part of the Development Plan process, rather than being done beforehand. The problem with such an approach is that the new Development Plan will not be finally adopted until 2017. That means that there will be a minimum of 18 months more where developers can look for planning permission for high rise developments in Castleknock on the basis of the existing flawed urban centre strategy.

I will be bringing forward a motion to the local area committee calling for a new urban centre strategy to be prioritized for Castleknock village, before the wider Development Plan process. No one living in Castleknock feels that the existing proposals for high-rise buildings are acceptable and it is vital that this is changed as soon as possible.

An Bord Pleanala rejection of planning for Lidl in Castleknock is welcome


I am very pleased that An Bord Pleanala has followed the lead of Fingal County Council and rejected planning permission for a Lidl supermarket at the Flower-Shop site in Castleknock village. However, I would have a concern that both the County Council and An Bord Pleanala seem to suggest that this site in the centre of Castleknock village should be even more intensively developed than Lidl were suggesting.

This is why it is so important that the Council now undertake a new urban centre strategy (UCS) for Castleknock village. The process for drawing up the previous UCS was flawed and was strongly opposed by local residents. It was on the basis of this flawed document that the various attempts to put a high rise development on the Flower-Shop site were made. It is time to get real community input and draw up a plan that will see this important site in the village put to proper use.

At a local area committee meeting of Fingal County Council in September, the Council indicated that, depending on the decision of An Bord Pleanala in the Lidl appeal, the Council would look at drawing up a new UCS. Now that the rejection of planning permission has been upheld, I am call on Fingal County Council to quickly follow through on its commitment.


Reply – An Bord P – Lidl