Monthly Archive for June, 2014

Update on Level Crossing closures in D15

Minister Varadkar letter June 2014

I’m pleased to see that Minister Varadkar has issues a letter clarifying some issues regarding the proposals to close level crossings in Dublin 15. This issue first came to public attention late last year with the attempt to close the Porterstown Road LC, but also applies at Coolmine and Clonsilla.

The Minister has stated that no work will take place until the end of 2018 at the earliest.

He has also stated that “… consultation with local residents will take place long before any plans are put on public display”.

I think this statement is really important. When I brought information into the public domain about what was being considered by the National Transport Authority and Fingal County Council through a Freedom of Information request, it was obvious that a lot of research had taken place without any public consultation. This research formed the basis of the attempt to close the Porterstown Road LC.

While we need to improve rail infrastructure across Dublin 15, it is vital that local communities who will be directly impacted by any changes are fully consulted and not railroaded (excuse the bad pun) into situations by public authorities.

I would expect that if Minister Varadkar is no longer Minister for Transport in 2018, whoever succeeds him must fulfil this commitment for full and early engagement with residents.

Significant new planning application for Castleknock village on ‘Flower Shop’ site

 

A planning application for a significant development on the ‘Flower Shop’ site in Castleknock village has been submitted. The proposed development will consist of a Lidl supermarket, a restaurant, a medical centre and other shops. The proposed development is on the same ‘site as the controversial five storey Uxbridge development, which was given planning permission in 2010.

The deadline for objections or observations is 9th July. The file number is FW14A/0065. You can access all the relevant files through the Fingal CC planning website here.

It is vital that the traffic and parking implications of the development are closely examined.

I welcome the fact that the scale is significantly smaller than the five storey Uxbridge development, which received planning permission in 2010. This development will be at most three storey’s, which is much more in keeping with the rest of the scale of Castleknock village. As there are no residential or office units included in the new planning permission, the overall size of the development would be significantly less.

At the same time, there will be a significant increase in traffic if we have a supermarket located in the centre of Castleknock village. The plans indicate that a new street will be created opposite Myo’s pub which will turn the current junction into a cross roads.

The number of parking spaces for the proposed development is 98, which is significantly less than the original application had. I would be concerned that this may result in surrounding estates being used as overflow car parks, which would have a detrimental effect on local residents. In particular, I would be concerned that the proposal to allow pedestrian access from Castleknock Park to the new development could see that cul de sac becoming jammed with cars (see Appendix A). I do not see the case for pedestrian access at this point.

You can now register online and make your objection/observation through the Fingal website. The relevant form is here.

Alternatively, you need to write to Planning Department, Fingal County Council, County Hall, Main Street Swords, Co. Dublin.

Include your own name and address, and also you must use the number for this planning application: FW14a/0065.

Remember, there is a €20 fee to make an objection or observation.

Royal Canal cycleway to open from 20th June

Nearly there! Royal Canal cycle and walk way to be open by 20th June

During the election campaign and since, many residents of Blanchardstown and Castleknock have been asking when the Royal Canal tow path will be reopened. The path has been closed since October 2013, as work is undertaken to upgrade it as a pedestrian and cycle route.

I’ve contacted officials in the Fingal County Council Planning Department and they confirm that it will be open for use from the 20th June. The final sections have recently been surfaced and all that remains at this point is the installation of lights.

The new path will offer cyclists and walkers a much smoother and safer route along the Royal Canal. It will increase the Canal’s long term potential as a recreation and tourism resource for Dublin 15. I look forward to it being open for our use soon.

Thank You

My sincere thanks to everyone who voted for me in the local elections.

I am delighted to have been elected and I look forward to working for our community on Fingal County Council over the next five years.