REVIEW OF THE YEAR – PART 5

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05 new September pic 5

September 1

In the Southside, plans were lodged with An Bord Pleanala for the development of a 244-unit built-to-rent apartment complex on lands formerly owned by Blackrock College on Cross Avenue this week.
Submitted by Lioncor Developments, the plans were filed under the controversial Strategic Housing Development act (SHD) which allows for planning applications that are in excess of 100 residential units be lodged directly to An Bord Pleanala (ABP), skipping the local county council.
The development would reach up to nine storeys in height and consist of 122 one-bed apartments, 100 two-bed apartments, 18 studios and four three-bed units in three buildings.
The land lies adjacent to Blackrock College, a private boys secondary school.
The scheme is to include facilities such as a café, a co-working area, meeting areas, a pet wash, a fitness area and a residents lounge.
Lioncor also filed documents with its application explaining why planning permission should be granted despite the plans contravening the local development plan.
The property developer purchased the Cross Avenue land last year for a reported €16m, beating off stiff competition from other developers.

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A CGI of the proposed 1,365 residential units at Corballis East in Donabate

In North East Dublin, a planning application for the development of 1,365 residential units at a site at Corballis East in Donabate was lodged with An Bord Pleanala.
The proposal, which is being progressed by Aledo Donabate Ltd, was filed under the Strategic Housing Development Act (SHD).
The 1,365 units will consist of 194 onebedroom apartments, 473 two-bed apartments, 166 three bed-apartments, nine two-bed houses, 206 three-bed houses and 131 four-bed houses.
The plans also show three childcare facilities with a combined capacity for 297 children and space for five retail and two café units.
In September, two trade unions representing craft workers at Dublin Airport threatened to ballot for industrial action over plans by daa to outsource maintenance jobs.
Connect Trade Union and Unite Trade Union represent maintenance workers and craft workers at the airport and said they would be holding a general meeting of members to ballot for a potential withdrawal of labour.
Connect Regional Secretary, Sean Heading, said: “The daa threat results from a dispute between management and our members concerning an attempt to force them to adopt work practice changes without agreement.
“To threaten workers with an end to their employment unless they accept changes is not a proper manner in which to conduct industrial relations.”
Unite Regional Officer Willie Quigley said daa management has done a “complete U-turn.”
“Throughout this process, I would contend that the daa has failed to be upfront with our members,” he said.

September 8

In September, Drimnagh and Crumlin residents said they were being “ignored” by planning authorities after An Bord Pleanala granted permission to Durkan Homes to develop a 289-apartment complex on the old Easons site at Brickfield Drive.
The €60m development will consist of four apartment blocks rangingfrom four to 10 storeys in height.
The scheme is made up of 126 one-bed units, 155 two-bed units and one studio with 28 of the units to be sold to Dublin City Council for the provision of social housing for an undisclosed sum.
Overall, 31 submissions were lodged with the planning board concerning the scheme including some from local residents’ associations.
Elected members of the council also voiced their concern, though city council planners recommended that permission be granted.
In the Northside East edition, an online fundraiser set up to finance a potential legal challenge to the proposed large scale residential development for Corballis East in Donabate has raised nearly €13,000 at the time of writing.
The development is being progressed by Aledo Donabate Ltd and plans show that the property firm has submitted planning permission to An Bord Pleanala for 1,365 apartments and houses on the Donabate peninsula.
“Donabate Portrane Community Council needs your help to employ expert planners, ecologists and engineers to help the community fight this entirely unsuitable development at Corballis East, which will irreversibly destroy the peninsula,” the organisers say.
“This application constitutes the second biggest Strategic Housing Development (SHD) application in the history of the State and will increase the population of Donabate from its current ca. 10,000 to over 14,000 people.”
In the Northside West, a local councillor described the government’s newly launched ‘Housing for All’ plan as another “squandered” chance to tackle the housing crisis.
The government’s plan, announced in September, aims to deliver 300,000 new homes by the end of 2030 under a €4 billion per-year strategy.
Councillor Cieran Perry expressed disappointment however with what he describes as a “lack of genuine vision contained within the plan.
“The core proposal of the newly released Housing for All plan returns to the failed policy of expecting the private sector to solve the housing crisis,” Councillor Perry said.
“Yet again, a government is proposing to subsidise private developers to build housing rather than using this public money to fund a state led housing construction program which will not be dependent on the variances of the profit dependent private sector.”

September 15

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A CGI of what the proposed cycle route in Deansgrange would look like

The six-month trial of a two-lane cycle route running through Deansgrange has been deferred until next year.
In September, councillors were informed by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council that the project, which is part of the Active Schools Travel programme in the area, was to be stalled.
In a statement, Tom McHugh, Acting Chief Executive at Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, explained to local representatives why the trial was not going ahead as planned.
“Following the large number of submissions received recently on the Deansgrange element of the Active Schools Travel project, and following discussions with Councillors, it is now proposed to commence a further process of engagement with all stakeholders,” he said.

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Ellen pictured outside her home last night with her parents Eddie and Laura Keane. Pic John McElroy/Maxpix.

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Ellen Keane, the Paralympic gold medalist in the SB8 100m breaststroke in Tokyo, returned home to a hero’s this week in September.
Thousands of people lined the streets of Clontarf to applaud and cheer Keane as she made her way through the north Dublin seaside town in a Gardaí-led motorcade.
Keane, who won her medal without any fans present, said the moment was special for her.
“It really was amazing,” she said.
“I won the medal in an empty stadium, so it was so lovely to be driven around Clontarf with everybody cheering.
“I did get a bit emotional; tears were running down my face at one point.”
“I was just so happy to see everyone.”
Tokyo 2020 was Keane’s fourth Paralympic games, after first competing in Beijing in 2008.
In the Northside West, the Johnston Mooney & O’Brien factory on the Jamestown Road in Finglas is complying with the noise pollution guidelines, Fingal County Council has said.
The declaration comes after residents in the nearby Beechwood Gate housing estate filed a complaint with the council that the factory was producing too much noise and causing disruption in the area.
At a recent area committee meeting, Tania Doyle, an Independent councillor for Ongar asked the chief executive “to consider undertaking a noise monitoring survey at the JMOB Factory following reports of noise pollution emanating from this location.”
She also asked that the council engages “with both the residents of Beechwood Gate and the management of JMOB regarding the noise levels reported by the residents.”
In its response to Doyle, Fingal County Council said that after the complaints were filed, “a number of changes to their JMOB practices were carried out including the replacement of defective equipment at a considerable cost to the company so as to minimise the noise disturbance to residents.”

September 22

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South Dublin County Council voted to sell public land to a private developer to deliver hundreds of new homes this week.
At September’s council meeting elected members approved the development of 620 new homes on council-owned lands at Killinarden.
A motion to sell the land for the ‘Foothills’ development passed with 27 votes in favour, two against and four abstentions.
According to the council, the proposal follows “a competitive tender process for a fully integrated mixed tenure development of social, affordable and private dwellings.”
This week it was announced that the planned inquest into the Stardust tragedy was postponed due to a row over legal fees.
The group ‘Justice for the Stardust 48’ said in a statement that the families of the victims had instructed their legal team to hold off until all outstanding issues have been resolved with the legal aid funding.
“The inquest for the 48 victims of the Stardust due to commence in October has now been
postponed,” the group said.
“This is a direct result of the Department of Justice reneging on their commitment to ensure our legal team is funded in accordance with the legal aid rates.
“Despite past promises, the legal aid board has to date refused to make any payment to our legal team for the work they have undertaken.
“Instead, and despite the previous past promises, the legal aid now seek to renege on the commitment that we would receive legal aid funding in the same way as other inquests.”
In the Northside West, Chief Executive of Dublin City Council Owen Keegan wrote to An Bord Pleanála voicing his concern over the 1,614-unit apartment complex proposed for Holy Cross College in Drumcondra.
Keegan criticised various facets of the project, including the build-to-rent aspect, the number of studio apartments proposed and the lack of sunlight that the complex will receive.
In his letter, Keegan said that it is “critical” a development of this size “should not be purely for rental, given the desire and need for local residents and potentially people from outside the area to purchase their own home.
“It is considered the scheme is a major missed opportunity to create an integrated, mixed income, mixed ownership and sustainable new community with a full range of apartment types and sizes,” he said.

OCTOBER

October 6

In October, increased incidents of violent crime and anti-social behaviour in the South Inner City led a local TD to question the Minister for Justice. Labour TD for Dublin Bay South, Ivana Bacik, says she is calling for the Government, local authorities and local Gardai to take ‘meaningful and effective actions’ to ensure greater public safety.
“In recent weeks, I have received a notable increase in correspondence from constituents who have witnessed or been victim to alleged violent attacks in Dublin’s South Inner City and other local areas in the Dublin Bay South constituency,” she said.
“These reported incidents range from xenophobic verbal abuse to muggings and violent assaults.
“They have been reported right across the City and have been taking place both at night and during the day.”
Clonliffe Road residents a statement released this week in October following the news that seven concerts might be held in Croke Park next year.
The Clonliffe and Croke Park Area Residents Association says it strongly objects to the “intensification” of use of Croke Park and the lack of consultation it has had with the organisers.
In its statement, the group says that “Croke Park has failed to meet commitments previously given to consult the local community and its representatives before submitting applications for extra events.”
Earlier this month, country music superstar Garth Brooks announced plans to host five concerts in the stadium next year. Previous efforts by Brooks to play five dates at Croke Park were cancelled in 2014 after local residents strongly objected to the plans.
In the Northside West, Dublin City Council and Sculpture Dublin unveiled the sculpture which will be placed in Kildonan Park in Finglas.
The finished piece of art is the culmination of a 12-month process with Sara Cunningham-Bell being commissioned to create the sculpture earlier this year.
Cunningham-Bell says the sculpture represents the great people of Finglas, past and present, including Eliza Bishop, Kevin Barry, and musician Seamus Ennis.
Local Fianna Fail councillor for the area Keith Connolly welcomed the new sculpture, which was formally unveiled in an online ceremony in September.
“Sara has designed a dynamic, large-scale sculpture that will act as an inclusive landmark for Kildonan Park,” he said.

October 13

This week in the Southside edition, an online petition was set up calling for the development of a restaurant and hotel at Merchant’s Arch to be halted has gained over 16,000 signatures at the time of writing.
The petition comes after plans to construct a boutique hotel and restaurant were given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanala.
The project, which is being progressed by publican Tom Doone, was originally given approval by Dublin City Council earlier this year before an appeal was filed by the Temple Bar Residents Association.
However, ABP decided to uphold the local authority’s decision despite its own inspector recommending that permission be refused.
A Fine Gael TD voiced his concern about hearing a group of young men chanting about raping a woman on a DART train this week in the Northside East edition.
Dublin Fingal TD Alan Farrell was on a train heading towards Malahide and overheard the group chanting “let’s rape her” when a woman left the carriage at a station.
In a tweet, Deputy Farrell said: “I don’t think I’ve ever felt compelled to tweet about such things, but from my journey home tonight on the DART, we have a very long way to go to ensure toxic masculinity is eradicated from our society.
“Chants of ‘let’s rape her’ were heard amongst lads, after a lone woman exited the train, before our final destination.
“I even checked with fellow passengers if I had heard wrong. I was criticised for highlighting it, on egress.”
Farrell went on to tweet that it was “such a depressing event, such young men – supposedly in touch with what it means to be a 21st century man.
“These were locals, no question.”
In the Northside West, an attempt by some Dublin city councillors to prevent the start of construction of the O’Devaney Gardens development was adjourned pending further legal advice.
At October’s Dublin City Council meeting, elected representatives tabled a motion calling for the local authority to make a “recission” of the deal it made with Bartra unless it agrees to reduce the number of units it will build on the site.
Dublin City Council previously voted to dispose of the site to the property firm in order to build 824 homes with 50% being private and 50% being social and affordable.
However, Bartra has since obtained planning permission from An Bord Pleanala to develop 1,047 homes, while also increasing the height and density of the project.

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October 20

A controversial €15 million visitor centre at the Hell Fire Club looks in south Dublin is set to get the go ahead.
This follows a court decision last week denying a local residents group permission to appeal the High Court’s refusal to overturn permission for the planned visitor centre.
In October, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys refused to allow an appeal from the Hellfire Massy Residents Association (HMRA) over his decision upholding permission for the centre.
The judge decided that the group had not raised a point of law of exceptional public importance that would allow for an appeal over his ruling.
South Dublin County Council wants to build a visitor centre at the iconic site which would include a panoramic cafe, exhibition space, a ramblers lounge, toilets, changing facilities, a shop and education centre.
This week in October, chief executive of Dublin City Council Owen Keegan told councillors that he will not be resigning from his position after being heavily criticised for his comments regarding student accommodation.
Several councillors are calling for Keegan to resign after correspondence between him and UCD’s student union leader were made public.
In a letter sent to union president, Ruairí Power, Keegan said: “If you genuinely believe that excess profits are being made in the PBSA [purpose-built student accommodation] market I am surprised the Students Union has not entered the market itself and provided lower cost student accommodation for its members.”
Power tweeted the extract from the letter which sparked outrage from politicians and students, with many calling for his resignation.
In the Northside West, a year after Dublin City Councillors voted to retain the large Oscar Traynor Road site in Santry instead of selling it to a private property developer, the council revealed that disposing of the site is now being reconsidered.
In November 2020, councillors refused to sell the site to Glenveagh Homes for the development of more than 850 homes, instead deciding to keep it within council ownership.
Under the deal, 50% of the homes would have been sold privately by Glenveagh while 30% would be used for social housing and 20% would be sold under the affordable purchase scheme.
However, councillors voted 48 to 14 against the plan, instead deciding to develop a mix of 100% social and affordable homes.
In March, councillors put forward a plan that would see 80% of the land be used for social housing while 20% would be reserved for affordable purchase.

October 27

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council recommended to An Bord Pleanala this week that a proposed 244-unit build-to-rent apartment scheme at Cross Avenue, Blackrock be refused planning permission on a number of grounds.
In August, Lioncor Developments filed with ABP permission to develop the €13 million project on lands previously owned by Blackrock College.
The development was filed as a Strategic Housing Development (SHD), meaning it fulfilled requirements to bypass the local authority and be sent straight to the planning board.
However, a planning report compiled by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said the project should be refused permission.
The report said that the height and density of the scheme – which would reach nine storeys in height – would have a detrimental impact on the character of the local area.
The scheme, the council said, would also be contrary to the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Development Plan and may set a precedent for future applications.
In the Northside East edition we learned that Dublin City Council is exploring the idea of implementing a policy where all dogs must be on leads at all times in the core area of St Anne’s Park.
Under the policy, dogs would be allowed to be off lead in other areas of the park as long as they are “in effective control” of their owner.
This would be a change from the current ruling where dogs are allowed roam free before 11am and in the last hour of the park’s opening times in any section of the park.
The council says it will be consulting with dog owners and non-dog owners who use the park before making a final decision.
In the Northside West, the water at Santry River and pond in Santry Park is in poor condition, according to Fingal County Council.
The council was responding to a question tabled by Sinn Fein councillor Ann Graves who said there have been reports from park users that their dogs have become sick from drinking the water in the park.
In its reply, the council said that through a study undertaken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “this stretch of river been determined to be of “poor” status.”
It also said that the stretch of river further downstream in the area governed by Dublin City Council is currently “unassigned” but is assumed “to be of poor status also.”
The reason for this, the council says, is due to several different factors.
“The significant pressures identified under the Water Framework Directive, for this stretch of the Santry River are; urban run-off and combined sewer overflows,” it said.

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