Green Party Dublin West candidate, Cllr. Roderic O’Gorman has called for more small scale local playgrounds to be located around the Dublin 15 area. He was speaking after making his submission to the Fingal County Council Open Space Strategy public consultation where he called for such playgrounds to be part of the planning permission for all new estates of over 100 units.
Over the last few weeks, Fingal County Council have been undertaking a public consultation on its Open Space Strategy for the next five years. In my submission, I have urged the Council to place a greater emphasis on small scale local playgrounds being located in public spaces. While the Council currently maintains some excellent playgrounds in its large regional parks like the Millennium Park or St. Catherine’s, most of these require that parents put their kids in a car and drive them there. There needs to be greater facilities for parents to have their kids on swings/slides for half an hour at a location that is within reasonable walking distance of their home.
Within the entire Castleknock ward, the only good example of such a local playground is at Riverwood. This was provided by the developer as part of the planning permission conditions. While there are some local playgrounds in newer estates in Ongar, generally Fingal does not seem to support them.
While I understand that there is a maintenance cost to such parks and a need to prevent anti-social behaviour, the benefits in terms of health, and the need in terms of the large young population in the Dublin 15 area, must be taken into account.
I am proposing that a) the Council looks for the inclusion of small scale local playgrounds in all new residential developments of over 100 units as part of the planning conditions and 2) the Council locate suitable locations across Dublin 15 where such local playgrounds could be placed in existing residential areas, after consultation with residents.