Monthly Archive for March, 2008

Council needs to leave Greenbelt at Tyrrelstown alone

Yesterday I lodged the Dublin West Green Party submission on the Powerstown, Kilmartin, Tyrrelstown and Environs Study. I’ve called on Fingal County Council to halt any plans for future building in the Tyrrelstown area.

I was very surprised to see Fingal County Council propose a study of such a large greenfield area with a view to future residential and employment land use. The vast majority of the land included within the area for this study is agricultural land. It forms part of an essential greenbelt which leads all the way to the border with County Meath. I find it deeply disturbing that Fingal County Council is considering looking at this land with a view to development, even if it isn’t right away.

I would also point to the fact that there was no provision in the 2005 County Development Plan to undertake a survey of this area. I can’t understand why the Council’s planning department is making plans for large-scale building in one of the few remaining rural areas in Dublin 15, when it should be focusing on urban areas where planning measures are badly needed. For example, I don’t see why this study is being prioritised over the Blanchardstown Urban Centre Strategy, which is being suggested for this Autumn.

The new estates at Tyrrelstown continue to be hugely underserved in relation to schools, sports & recreational facilities and public transport. I think it is completely inappropriate for the Council to be considering more building on the greenbelt around Tyrrelstown, when it has so far failed to address many of the existing problems in the area. As such, I am proposing that the study should confine itself to addressing the needs of the existing residential areas in Tyrrelstown.

Let’s leave our greenbelt untouched for a bit longer.

Dublin West Green Party Submission on Tyrrelstown & Environs Study

O’Gorman welcomes decision to undertake movement study


Green Party Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman has welcomed the decision by Fingal County Council to undertake a study of different modes of movement around the Dublin 15 area.

“I’m delighted to see that Fingal County Council has put out a tender to conduct a movement or permeability study for the Dublin 15 area. Such a study will look at the different routes people use to get around – whether it be by car, public transport, bicycle or foot – and determine how to best provide for these”.

“Up until recently, very little attention was given to the needs of people to move about their area, in planning decisions in Dublin 15. Nearly all building has been developer led with no overall integration in terms of pedestrian and cyclist connections, or indeed other services such as schools”.

“As a result of this pattern of development, cycling and walking have become very inconvenient and often residents have to take a very circuitous route to get anywhere on foot or by bicycle. Children no longer walk or cycle to school as their parents feel it is unsafe to do so on heavily trafficked roads. It seems the big property developers never even considered that people might actually wish to walk or cycle “, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“The Dublin West Green Party have previously called for research into peoples movement needs in submissions on local planning matters such as the Clonsilla Urban Centre Strategy. As such, we are very pleased to see this issue now being addressed across the entire Dublin 15 area”.

“Not only will this study deal with movement and transport issues, but it will also consider the availability of services such as schools, playgrounds, playing pitches and health centres. Such a move is long overdue and will provide planners, politicians and community activists with vital information to ensure that the next County Development Plan is based on truly sustainable principles”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.


Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

Press Release – Greens call for extra seat for Mulhuddart Ward in Council boundary redraw


Dublin 15 Green Party representative, Roderic O’Gorman, has called on the Dublin and Cities Electoral Area Boundary Committee to add an extra seat to the Mulhuddart Ward as part of its review of boundaries in the Fingal County Council area.

“In light of our analysis of the population of the Dublin 15 area after the last census, we are recommending that the Mulhuddart ward gets an extra seat to bring it up to 5 councillors. From the census, the combined population of the Mulhuddart and Castleknock Areas is now 90,974. As Fingal has a population of 239,992 to be shared between 24 councillors, this gives a population of approximately 10,000 per councillor. Therefore, it is clear that the Dublin 15 area is entitled to an overall increase from 8 to 9 seats”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“In light of the massive growth in the population of the Mulhuddart ward, which encompasses areas such as Ongar and Littlepace, we believe an extra seat should be given to this ward. This would mean that the population per councillor in Mulhuddart would be -6.61% and in Castleknock +5.83% from the average population per councillor in Fingal. As this is well within the 10% limit prescribed by the guidelines, we would suggest that there needs to be no changes to the actual boundaries of the Mulhuddart or Castleknock ward”.

The submission from the Dublin West Green Party has further stated that the boundary for the Dublin 15 wards should not match the newly drawn boundary for the Dublin West constituency, which runs through the middle of Swords village.

“Like most people, we were shocked by the decision of the Constituency Boundary Commission to change the boundary of Dublin West to include a substantial section of Swords Village. We think this action was a mistake and will need to be revisited in future reviews of the Dail constituency boundaries. As such, we are firmly against any suggestion that the boundary of the Mulhuddart ward should be altered to include areas of Swords”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.


Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777


Press Release – Green Party calls on HSE to fund autism services for Castleknock Educate Together National School


Green Party Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman has called on the Health Services Executive to make funding available to supply autism outreach services in Castleknock Educate Together National School.

“After having discussed the problems being encountered in opening the special autism unit with the school management, I’ve written to the HSE to urge it to make resources available to Beechpark Services, which supplies outreach multi-disciplinary services dealing with autism, to Castleknock Educate Together. At my request, Minister Eamon Ryan has joined me in making these representations”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“It’s deeply frustrating that this newly opened school, which has a purpose built unit for autistic children, has been unable to operate this unit because the various health support services that these children require have not yet been made available through Beechpark. The school Board of Management has been faced with a difficult choice, but I understand the position that they have taken as these children have more than purely educational needs. As such, it is vital that specialist services are supplied at the same time as the educational services”.

“I would hope that in light of the obvious need for these services by children in the Dublin 15 area, the HSE will swiftly make the necessary funding available to Beechpark Services, which will in turn enable Castleknock ETNS to finally open its autism unit”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.


Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

Press Release – Taking in charge guidelines will prevent abuse by rogue developers – O’Gorman


New guidelines setting out time-frames for local authorities to take residential estates into charge, will help prevent abuses by rogue developers according to Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman.

“I’m pleased to see that the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, has published new guidelines for local authorities setting out the procedures for taking housing estates in charge. In Dublin 15, we have had numerous examples of inappropriate management companies being set up to rip off homeowners in traditional housing estates, or instances where developers have walked away from new housing estates leaving them only half constructed”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“The new Guidelines will have a number of key features. Prior to planning being given for new estates, a statement will set out exactly what will be taken in charge when the development is finished. Local authorities will have to set out time-frames for taking estates in charge. Further, the Guidelines repeat that management companies should not be attached as part of the conditions for traditional housing estates”.

“These new Guidelines will have to be implemented by each local authority by the end of June of this year. Further, Minister Gormley has requested that a new indicator be implemented which will measure the speed with which local authorities are taking estates in charge, particularly those that have been left without services for a long period of time”.

“When we entered into Government, the Green Party made a commitment that we would reform planning law in this country to stop rogue developers using their muscle to exploit homeowners. These guidelines form part of wider legislative moves to ensure that new residential developments are about building for communities, not for builders profits”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.


Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

Planning Guidelines Concerning the Taking in Charge of Residential Estates Here

Clarification about the status of Coolmine multi-storey car park welcome

In the New Year I was contacted by some local residents, regarding reports in local media about a plan by Iarnród Éireann to develop a multi-storey car park at Coolmine Station. I wrote to Iarnród Éireann, seeking clarification on the matter. Barry Kenny, the Corporate Communications Manager, has since contacted me and supplied me with the following details:

– Iarnród Éireann wishes to develop a multi-storey car park at Coolmine, but are aware of the existing traffic congestion problems – particularly as regards the level crossing.
– In light of these problems, they do not intend to proceed with plans for a multi-storey car park at this time.
– Iarnród Éireann are in discussions with Fingal CC about methods of relieving traffic congestion at the Coolmine Level Crossing. One option being considered is an overpass which would eliminate the level crossing.
– Should Iarnród Éireann develop a multi-storey car park at the site in the future, they would propose to only build it one storey high.

Hopefull these points offer some certainty as regards Iarnród Éireann’s plans for Coolmine. While it’s good to have clarification of the situation, I don’t think it was fair that residents were left in the dark for so long and had to listen to rumour and speculation. If Iarnród Éireann do intend to go ahead with either a multi-storey car park or an overpass at Coolmine, it is essential that local residents are consulted from the very start of the process.

I will stay in touch with IE on this issue, and post updates if the situation changes.