Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has called on Fingal County Council to refuse planning permission for a major development of over 500 houses and apartments in Diswellstown.
“I have written to Fingal County Council, outlining my objection to this development. I think it is grossly unsuitable for the area in which it is proposed. 538 new houses and apartments in this location is completely unsustainable from the point of view of traffic and school places and will have a major impact on the quality of life of those currently living in the area”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.
“In my objection to Fingal County Council, I outlined a range of grounds under which I feel the planning application should be rejected, including traffic, road safety, the density of the proposal, the adequate supply of residential properties in the area and the lack of school places”.
“As regards school places, I do not feel that the applicant, Viscount Securities, have adequately shown that there are sufficient school places at primary level for future residents of the development. Under new guidelines recently introduced by the Minister for the Environment, it is recommended that planning applications for developments with more than 200 dwelling units should be accompanied by a report identifying the demand for school places likely to be generated by the proposal and the capacity of existing schools in the area to cater for such demand. I see no evidence that capacity exists at present in schools in the Carpenterstown area to cope with a major influx of new residents”.
“Further, the development gives rise to major road safety issues, particularly at the roundabout entrance to the proposed development on the Diswellstown Road. This entrance is currently used by St. Patricks National School. Due to the limited amount of parking available in the school grounds, this roundabout is extremely busy at school pick up and drop off times. I believe that the large volume of traffic generated by the proposed development, both during its construction and on its completion, will cause danger to school children and parents at this particular point”.
“I hope Fingal County Council will take note of the concerns raised by myself and many local residents in our objections and will refuse planning permission to this development”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777
High resolution pictures of Roderic are available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rodericogorman/
Planning Objection to Fingal County Council
Ms. Lousie Murphy,
Fingal County Council,
Re: Planning Application by Viscount Securities at Diswellstown (F08A/1425)
Dear Ms. Murphy,
I would like to submit an objection on the behalf of the Dublin West Green Party to the above planning application.
Provision for Education
We believe that the planning application does to adequately demonstrate the existence of primary school places for future residents of the development. Under S.28 of the Planning & Development Act, 2000 the local authority is obliged to have regard to Ministerial Guidelines in the performance of its planning functions.
As part of the Sustainable Residential Development Planning Guidelines, published by the Minister for the Environment in December 2008, there is a requirement on planning authorities to ensure that no substantial residential development should proceed without an assessment of existing schools capacity or the provision of new school facilities at the same time as the development. Specifically, Chapter 4 states:
4.2 New residential communities can generate a demand for a significant number of new school places, particularly where families are attracted to the area. In such cases, it is vital to the process of supporting sustainable communities that the planning system facilitates the timely provision of new school buildings. Detailed guidance on planning for school provision through the development plan, local area plan and development management processes and the roles, responsibilities and specific actions to be taken in relation to forecasting future demand for school places is available in the Joint Code of Practice on Provision of Schools and the Planning System (August 2008).
4.3 No substantial residential development should proceed without an assessment of existing schools capacity or the provision of new school facilities in tandem with the development.
4.4 Within the development management process, it is recommended that planning applications for 200+ dwelling units should be accompanied by a report identifying the demand for school places likely to be generated by the proposal and the capacity of existing schools in the vicinity to cater for such demand. In very large-scale residential developments (say, 800+ units), planning authorities must consider whether there is a need to link the phased completion of dwellings with the provision of new school facilities.
The Carpenterstown area has been under extreme pressure regarding school places at primary level for the past 5 years. While the opening of Schoil Cholim has provided some relief, models of population increase in the area all show that existing schools are currently at capacity. As this planning application is well in excess of 200 units, Part 4.4 of the guidelines apply. We do not feel that the developer has adequately outlined the demand for school places that is likely to be created by the proposed development or proved that the existing schools will be adequate to meet this demand.
We argue that the proposed development will add significantly to traffic congestion in the area which already suffers from major congestion on the two major routes into the City Centre – through Laurel Lodge or along the Carpenterstown Road. Planning permission has already been given for two other significant developments in this area, one on adjoining lands at Diswellstown and another on a site between Woodberry and College Park. Obviously, these also have the potential to increase traffic in the area. We have major concerns about the impact of another 900 vehicles from this proposed development on top of the current and hypothecated levels of traffic.
It also must be noted that significant delays are currently caused by the regular closing of the level crossing at Coolmine throughout the day, but particularly at the morning and evening rush hour. These delays will become progressively worse as the Maynooth line is upgraded and the spur to Dunboyne village is developed. We believe all these factors highlight that it would be unwise to add to the traffic problems of the area to such a large extent as is proposed at this stage.
Linked to the concern about traffic is a concern over road safety, particularly at the roundabout entrance to the proposed development on the Diswellstown Road. This entrance is currently used by St. Patricks National School. Due to the limited amount of parking available in the school grounds, this roundabout is extremely busy at school pick up and drop off times. We argue that the large volume of traffic generated by the proposed development, both during its construction and on its completion, will cause danger to school children and parents at this particular point.
We believe that the density of the proposed development is excessive. We note that a previous application for over 800 units on the same location was previously rejected – F04A/1236. The large blocks of apartments of 4/5 stories would be significantly out of character with the surrounding estates of Mulberry and Burnell Park, all of which have two storey houses.
Oversupply of Residential Properties
Finally, we submit that the Dublin 15 area currently has an abundant oversupply of residential properties for sale or for rental. We do not see the need to increase the supply of housing in the area at the current time.