Monthly Archive for February, 2015

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.

Retention planning permission sought for demolition of Beechview House in Blanchardstown

Retention planning permission is being sought for the demolition of Beechview House on Blanchardstown Main Street and the construction of a replacement two storey house, along with a medical centre and two apartments. While the medical centre and the apartments already had planning permission, they were meant to be built incorporating Beechview House, a building which actually dated to before the Famine. However, this house was demolished last November, even though there was no planning permission to demolish it.

Now, the developer has to seek planning permission retrospectively for the demolition, as well as for the building of a new, identical house to replace it.

Obviously, it will be an improvement to have this house rebuilt. Unfortunately, if the developer is given this retention planning permission for the demolition, then no further action can be taken for the initial breach of planning permission of tearing down the original old house. This is a significant gap in our planning laws as they currently stand. Giving retention permission lets the developer off the hook for any pervious breaches of planning.

With the new Fingal Development Plan being drafted over the next 18 months, I will be working hard to ensure that historically valuable buildings are given the appropriate amount of protection within our planning regulations. What happened in Blanchardstown should not be allowed to happen again.

Fingal councillors will meet with Dublin Bus and NTA representatives

 

I’m pleased that Fingal County Council have agreed to extend an invitation to both Dublin Bus and the National Transport Authority to meet with the councillors of the Castleknock/Mulhuddart local area committee to discuss a range of issues related to bus routes across Dublin 15.

 

I’m particularly looking forward to raising the level of service on the 39 bus route. Since the 39A was redirected along the N3, Blanchardstown village, Coolmine and Clonsilla Road areas have seen a significant decrease in the number of available buses. While this was done in order for that route to serve more densely populated new areas like Ongar, it has meant that the older population of the Blanchardstown/Coolmine area are left with the much less frequent 39 route. I have received a significant number of representations by people, primarily those over 60, who have been negatively impacted by this. This service only operates every 30 minutes, for most of the day.

 

I’ll also be asking the representative from the National Transport Authority to consider the 17A route between Blanchardstown Centre and Kilbarrack DART station. This route passes near DCU, but does not actually stop at the university. A very significant number of DCU students live in Dublin 15, so having a direct bus route to the university would be hugely beneficial. I will be asking the NTA to consider a slight adjustment to the 17A bus route so that it actually connects to DCU.

 

Other issues I want to raise are the 120 route at Ashtown and the potential impact of the privatization of routes in the Dublin 15 area.

 

If there are any issues you would like me to raise, please drop me an email at rodericogorman@gmail.com

Aldi in Clonsilla: FCC asks for better traffic impact information

 

I’m pleased to see the request for Additional Information made by Fingal County Council Planning Department to the developers of the proposed Aldi in Clonsilla village. The Council planners have requested additional information about a range of issues, including the amount of traffic that will be generated. The proposed development includes a two storey Aldi store, a crèche and 20 three storey houses.

I raised this proposed development at the Fingal County Council local area committee, as I was concerned that the original traffic survey on which the application is based was inadequate. The developer had stated that they only assessed the impact that this development would have on traffic between 4:00pm-7:00pm in the evening. They claimed that, as the Aldi store would only open at 9:00am, there was no need to assess its impact on morning traffic. At the time, I argued that this approach was flawed, due to the significant levels of traffic that Clonsilla village has every morning, generated by the level crossing, St Mochta’s NS and more generally, the large number of people living in the area.

The Fingal planners have now requested that the Aldi developers submit new additional information about the traffic generated by the proposed crèche in the development. They have also asked that the developer provide traffic projections both in and outside of peak hours, and for all the date on which their traffic impact assessment is based.

I think most people accept that this site in Clonsilla village needs redevelopment. However, we cannot make the same mistakes as were made in the past when adding new commercial and residential units to existing villages. I hope that if Aldi submit the requested additional information, they will be able to deal with the legitimate questions about how the traffic from this new development will be managed.

Additional Information Request – Aldi Clonsilla Village