The recent rejection of the Lidl planning application for the Flower-Shop site in Castleknock gives the opportunity to bring forward a new urban centre strategy (UCS) for the village. The current urban centre strategy, which would permit high rise development within the centre of the village, has been used as the basis for a range of inappropriate planning applications over the last number of years.
As a meeting of the Castleknock/Mulhuddart local area committee last September, the Council indicated that they were prepared to bring forward a new urban centre strategy for the village. This announcement was welcomed by myself, fellow councillors and local residents.
However, in response to question posed by me at a meeting of the Castleknock/Mulhuddart local area committee last week, the Council management appeared to indicate that the new urban centre strategy for Castleknock will form part of the Development Plan process, rather than being done beforehand. The problem with such an approach is that the new Development Plan will not be finally adopted until 2017. That means that there will be a minimum of 18 months more where developers can look for planning permission for high rise developments in Castleknock on the basis of the existing flawed urban centre strategy.
I will be bringing forward a motion to the local area committee calling for a new urban centre strategy to be prioritized for Castleknock village, before the wider Development Plan process. No one living in Castleknock feels that the existing proposals for high-rise buildings are acceptable and it is vital that this is changed as soon as possible.