Monthly Archive for December, 2013

No evidence to support proposal to close Porterstown Road

I’ve made a submission to Fingal County Council calling on it to reject the proposal to extinguish the right of way on the Porterstown Road. I have also made a separate submission, outlining the major problems with the proposed pedestrian bridge.

The Council has completely failed to prove the need for this extinguishment. Arguments about health and safety are not proved as there is no evidence of any significant health and safety risks posed by the current automatic level crossing system, which has operated successfully for a considerable period of time.

Any desire to speed up services along the Maynooth rail line is also not backed up with specific evidence at this point. The diesel trains currently using the line have to stop at both Coolmine and Clonsilla stations, and are not losing significant time by slowing at the level crossing. There are no definitive plans for the electrification of this line, so arguments related to this point are unsubstantiated.

I’m also concerned that the proposal makes no adequate arrangements for dealing with dumping and associated anti-social behaviour that will likely result from creating two isolated cul-de-sacs as a result of the extinguishment.

Finally the proposal will create a major accessibility barrier for people moving between Clonsilla, the lower Porterstown Road and estates in Diswellstown. A significant number of children would currently use this road travelling to and from the nearby primary and secondary schools. The proposed pedestrian bridge is completely unsuitable as it cannot be used by bicycles and buggies, not to mention wheelchairs.

Residents in the area have made it very clear that they oppose the proposal as currently stated. I hope the Council takes these views into consider when it makes its decision.

Time for Fingal County Council to rethink ‘Celtic Tiger’ era planning permissions

147 houses and apartments being built at Garryknock, Carpenterstown Road

Many people have commented how in recent weeks, work commenced on 147 houses and apartments at the Garryknock site along the Carpenterstown Road. This includes 42 two bed apartments. Once complete, this is going to add significantly to the already congested nature of the Carpenterstown and Diswellstown area, which is becoming particularly hard to exit in the morning due to traffic.

There has been activity on the files of two other planning permissions in the vicinity of St. Patricks National School. The permission granted for the Diswellstown House site was amended this November, and is now for 119 houses, down from 156 houses and apartments in the original application. The biggest planning permission locally, on the site beside St Patricks NS and behind the Brunell estate, has also been reactivated. This is for 450 units, including 192 apartments. Earlier in 2013, the planning permission was altered to change the phasing which the houses would be built. This suggests that the developer, Viscount Securities, still intends to proceed with the development.

While county councils cannot cancel older planning permissions, I believe there needs to be a detailed rethink about whether it should be allowing extensions for those big residential planning permissions that were granted during the Celtic Tiger era, but have not been built yet. Many of these contain large amounts of the 2 bed “shoebox” apartments which are used solely for rental, and therefore limit the possibility of longer-term communities being formed. While the improvement in the property market is welcomed, we cannot allow the same mistakes in terms of planning and housing quality to be made in Dublin 15 again.