Tag Archive for 'schools'

New Planning Bill will tackle many of the planning problems faced in Dublin 15 – O’Gorman




Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has welcomed the publication of a new Planning Bill by the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley TD. O’Gorman stated that the bill contained new provisions that were designed to tackle many of the planning problems that had been encountered over the last fifteen years.


“I am delighted to see the publication of this new Planning Bill. It will make a large number of key changes to the existing law and tackle many of the problems currently within the planning process”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.


“The provision of schools has been the area where Dublin 15 has suffered most as a result of bad planning and greed by developers. The new bill addresses school site provision in a number of ways. All new commercial developments will be subject to financial levies which will be ring fenced for the provision of new school facilities for the local community. Further, local authorities must when assessing new planning applications, be able to identify appropriate school sites and facilities for at least every 200 new residential units proposed”.


“The new bill also takes measures to ensure that councillors do not ‘over-zone’ land. Planning Authorities will be unable to zone land for development in a manner which is not consistent with national policy. This will prevent over zoning and will prohibit developers and vested interests having an improper undue influence on the councillors during the zoning of land. Also, councillors will be strictly forbidden from including last minute zoning in development plans or local area plans at Council Meetings which have not been subject to prior public consultation and scrutiny”.


“The new Planning Bill contains a wide range of other legislative changes to open the planning process to the public and to ensure that bad planning decisions are avoided. It is a great shame that many of these changes were not introduced a few years ago, before Dublin 15 underwent the huge housing boom it has experienced over the last few years”.


“However, with work starting on the new Fingal Development Plan over the next two years, the new Planning Bill will give the new Council elected in June the opportunity to avoid many of the mistakes of the past and to ensure that planning decisions are taken for the good of our community and provide us with the infrastructure such as schools that we so desperately need”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.





Further Information

Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777


Press Release – New planning guidelines will deliver schools more quickly – O’Gorman


The publication of a new code of practice – The Provision of Schools and the Planning System – has been welcomed by Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman. He was speaking after the joint publication of the document by the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley and the Minister for Education, Batt O’Keeffe.

“Parents in the Dublin 15 area have suffered greatly over the last 15 years due to the failure of Fingal County Council and the Department of Education to properly coordinate the granting of planning permission for new houses with the construction of new schools. This new code of practice – The Provision of Schools and the Planning System – seeks to ensure that local authorities and the Department of Education are working together and meeting the needs of local communities”

“This new code of practice builds on the principle set out by Minister Gormley in recent guidelines on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas where it was set down that no new large estates should be built before an assessment of the need for school places in the area or the provision of new schools places at the same time as the residential development. The two documents are part of the commitment the Green Party obtained within the Programme for Government to reform the manner in which schools are planned and developed throughout the country”, stated Roderic O’Gorman

“Some of the proposals in the new document mirror practices that have been occurring in Fingal already, such as the Department of Education using the local authority as its agent in purchasing sites for schools and also, the use of multi-school campuses which also contain community facilities”.

“There is also a proposal to exempt from the planning system temporary school buildings and minor development works in schools. This will mean that these works, which are often of an emergency nature, can now happen with minimum delay”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.


Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

Press Release – Kellystown Rezoning decision a missed opportunity for long-term planning – O’Gorman


Green Party Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman has branded as disappointing the decision of Fingal County Council to support the Kellystown rezoning without incorporating a Green Party amendment which would have insured that public transport was in place before any new houses were built. He was speaking after the motion to rezone the Kellystown lands was passed on a 12-10 vote.

“During the public consultation process on the rezoning, I and the Green Party undertook to support the variation, so long as proper conditions were inserted regarding the delivery of public transport infrastructure. Indeed, the stated intention of the rezoning motion was to “consolidate development around planned public transport facilities”. In order to secure the objective of sustainable planning based around ungraded public transport facilities, the Green Party proposed a sensible amendment stating that either the Metro West or the upgrade of the Maynooth line should be completed before any residential building began on the lands. This would not in any way have delayed the school building”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“I was deeply disappointed when Gilbert Power, on behalf of the Council Management Team, refused to accept this reasonable amendment, stating that it would make it impossible for a local area plan for the Kellystown lands to take place. How can the Council management reasonably argue on one hand that the core purpose of this rezoning is to make residential land available in conjunction with public transport, and then on the other hand reject attempts to have that very public transport mentioned as part of the variation? It simply doesn’t make sense”.

The Green Party amendment on public transport was supported by the Green Party councillors and others including Dublin 15 councillors Peggy Hamil, Michael O’Donovan and Ruth Coppinger. Among the Dublin 15 councillors who voted against the public transport amendment were Eithne Loftus, Mags Murray, Brenda Clifford and Margaret Richardson.

“I had made a commitment to residents that the Green Party would support the scheme in the event of the concerns, expressed to me by local people about providing public transport before the houses were built were addressed. As this was not done, the Green councillors reluctantly voted against the variation”.

“While I welcome the fact that land will now be available for schools, it is deeply disappointing that the Council management and a majority of the councillors were not prepared to push for strong guarantees regarding public transport. However, there will be another opportunity to push this issues again a local area plan is being drawn up for Kellystown. At that stage, myself and the Green councillors will fight hard to ensure that proper provision for public transport is written into the LAP”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.


Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

My submission on Kellystown

On Thursday I made a submission on behalf of the Dublin West Green Party to Fingal regarding the Kellystown Variation. I have called for significant amendments to the existing plan, primarily linking the building of new homes with the delivery of the Metro West.

The submission is attached at the bottom of this post if you want to have a look at the detail.

I believe that when Metro West is complete and the Maynooth line has been electrified, the lands at Kellystown will be the best served with public transport in all of Dublin 15, possibly in all of Dublin. The soaring price of oil, and Irelands rapidly rising carbon emissions from transport shows us we have to start designing towns that are based around public transport – with Kellystown, we have the opportunity to start making that change in Dublin 15.

However, in light of previous broken promises about the delivery of infrastructure, I can understand how people are naturally going to be suspicious about allowing more residential building, which could put pressure on already over stretched roads, bus and rail services. That is why in my submission to Fingal County Council I am calling for a condition to be inserted stating that no residential development should take place within these lands until the Metro-West is up and running. This will mean that the transport infrastructure has to be in place before the houses can be developed.

I know there has been some concern regarding the loss of greenbelt that would result from building on Kellystown. However, in recent months, we have seen Fingal County Council undertake a study of greenbelt lands around Tyrrelstown, with the suggestion that new residential development should take place in the future. This area is grossly unsuited to new housing – already the thousands of residents of the estate are poorly served with public transport. I think it is crucial that Fingal County Council move away from zoning land that is isolated, and demonstrate that in future, it will concentrate new homes around high quality public transport links. I know that no one likes to see greenbelt being built upon, but from the point of view of long term sustainability, Kellystown with its public transport infrastructure is the most suitable location in all of Dublin 15 to built houses.

I think it also has to be recognised that the Kellystown variation will provide substantial community gain including much needed land for primary and secondary schools, a large public park and a graveyard. However, before the Council agrees to the variation, it is absolutely vital that the councillors are shown the legal agreements entered into between the developer and the Council management, so that they can be assured that the Community gain will be swiftly taken into public control.

My submission also highlights the need to promote high quality, family friendly homes in Kellystown.

One of the worst aspects of development in the Dublin 15 area has been the construction of high density ‘shoe-box’ apartments, which are not suitable for families. This in turn means that people move on regularly which prevents communities forming. In order to avert this in Kellystown, I am calling for a condition to be inserted stating that any apartments built there will comply with the new Dublin City Council guidelines on apartments, which require larger sized apartments, fewer one bed apartments and more three bed family friendly apartments. By applying these measures to the land at Kellystown, we will ensure that the new community here will be family friendly.


New Draft Urban Planning Guidelines are a break with past planning mistakes

I was very pleased to see the new Draft Sustainable Residential Development Planning Guidelines, published yesterday by John Gormley.

I reckon that Dublin 15 is a prime example of how to mess up urban planning. The crises we have experienced with insufficient school places and inadequate public transport can all be traced back to the complete failure to properly plan the expansion of residential development in Dublin 15. It has been us as residents that have suffered the consequences of these huge blunders.

John Gormley has published new draft guidelines on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas. These will give detailed guidance to local authorities in how they permit future residential building in their area.

Speaking with the experiences of Dublin 15 in mind, a number of key aspects to the new guidelines stick out. They state 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. Further, they call for restrictions on residential development without either adequate existing public transport provision or new public transport being provided, again at the same time as the development. The guidelines also demand adequate provision at convenient locations for retail, health and other community facilities. These three points in particular could have been written in response to the problems that have occurred in Dublin 15.

The draft guidelines are available for inspection at the Department of Environment’s website, www.environ.ie. All members of the public have the right to comment or make submissions on the draft guidelines up to the 30th April.

These new guidelines are part of a wide-ranging effort by Minister Gormley to reform planning in Ireland and ensure that the planning process is about creating communities, not profiting developers. I see them as a real break with past mistakes. My only regret is that these guidelines are being published now, rather than 15 years ago.