Water Framework Directive Areas for Action

I have made the following submission in support of improved catchment management in the Mayne and Santry Rivers, and suggested the addition of the Howth streams to the catchment areas:

There is considerable interest in the area in both freshwater and coastal water. It should be possible to get good public engagement in the RBMP actions in the area.
I welcome the inclusion of the Mayne and Santry rivers. They cover a signficant area and significant population; it should be possible to get considerable public involvement in relation to them. Given the extent of development planned in the Mayne catchment, an objective of ensuring that the development does not lead to a degradation in the status of the river and engagement accordingly with planning and building control could make a significant difference.  I mentioned the Northside Partnership who have developed a proposal for a Greenway along the Santry River. They may be interested in cooperating on the River itself as well.
I suggest that it makes sense to also include the streams in Howth. (Full list at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rivers_of_County_Dublin but of greatest importance are Balsaggart Stream, Whitewater Brook, Gray’s Brook, Offington Stream and (because it discharges onto Claremont Beach) the Bloody Stream)  The Howth streams are all part of the Special Amenity Area and the Management Committee for that Area would be in a position to participate in and assist the measures to be taken to achieve good status for them.
 
It also makes sense to include the coastal waters between where the Santry meets Dublin Bay and Baldoyle Estuary. These Mayne and Santry rivers are both included in the catchment of the Dublin Bay Biosphere Reserve; as the Dublin Bay analysis is looking upstream, it makes sense for the RBMP analysis to also look downstream.
Consultation information at www.watersandcommunities.ie and https://consult.fingal.ie/en/consultation/draft-river-basin-management-plan-%E2%80%93-areas-action

Have your say on community services and facilities in Baldoyle

The sales building (“Marketing Suite”) for the new housing development beside the Racecourse Park was originally intended to be repurposed as a community facility. Fingal is now undertaking a consultation in relation to the overall community needs in the area and the feasibility of using the now damaged building.

The Community Development Office of Fingal County Council aims to strengthen communities by helping to establish and support local community groups and activities across Fingal. We would like to hear the views of residents and community groups in Baldoyle to assist us in establishing needs in the area in terms of community and social activities, leisure and sporting facilities.
We are also interested in your views on the potential development of the Menolly Marketing Suite Building at Red Arches as a community facility.
You can give your views by completing an online survey and/or by attending a public meeting.
Online survey: Visit https://consult.fingal.ie/en/surveys and complete the online survey between 16 October and 16 November 2017. The online survey can also be completed at Baldoyle Community Hall, Main Street, Baldoyle.
Public consultation meeting: A meeting will be held at 8.15 pm on Wednesday, 1 November in Baldoyle Community Hall, Baldoyle Forum, Main Street, Baldoyle.
If you have queries contact the research team at sinead@begley.ie or 8573111

Public information evenings and consultation about Sutton to Malahide Greenway

 

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Design work is starting on the section of the coastal greenway beteen Sutton and Malahide. The consultants have been given a brief to produce a high quality amenity greenway along the coast. It will be part of the Fingal Coastal Way, leading on from the Sutton to Sandycove route around Dublin Bay, and connecting to the route across Broadmeadow Estuary from Malahide to Donabate.

The Baldoyle to Portmarnock section was taken first and is ready to go to An Bord Pleanála and formal public consultation, probably in October.

This informal consultation will look at the sections south and north of that stretch:
-from Sutton Creek and Sutton Cross to the Green belt north of Baldoyle and
-from the Sluice River south of Portmarnock to the railway line at Malahide Estuary.

The purpose of the information meetings is to set out the scope of the project and to start the discussion with local people and visitors of the issues, challenges and opportunities in designing the Greenway. All are welcome.

The dates and venues are:

  • Tuesday 17th October 1530 to 1930  – Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links
  • Wednesday 18th October 1530 to 1930  – Malahide Library
  • Thursday 19th October 1615 to 1930 – Baldoyle Library

Report from Vélo-City Conference in Netherlands

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In June I attended the Vélo-city conference in Nijmegen. It featured both presentations on how to provide for people of all ages and abilities using bicycles in the Netherlands and worldwide, and site visits to successful cyclist- and pedestrian-oriented road and street design in Nijmegen and neighbouring areas. I have submitted this report on some of the lessons I have taken from the trip. I’m happy to give any more information as I can.

A copy of the Brief Dutch Design Manual for Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridges, referred to in the report is here.

Observation to An Bord Pleanála on Grange Road Junction

Following my observation to Fingal County Council in relation to the Grange Road junction, the Council granted permission including a condition that the details of the junction be revised to prioritise cyclists. This means that the basic junction won’t change and that the revised design would be agreed with no public participation. I have made an observation to An Bord Pleanála  asking them to require the submission of a revised design and suggested a possible approach based on Dutch practice on distributor road junctions. I am grateful in particular to the local residents who cycle through this junction and who gave me feedback on the issue.

Response to Parks and Open Spaces Bye-laws consultation

There was a public consultation earlier in the year in relation to bye-laws for Open Spaces and Parks. I opposed the provision in relation to dogs and cyclists before they went on display and made the following submission to the consultation. It also addresses the use of motor vehicles in parks.

Cycling in parks and open spaces, giving way to pedestrians

The proposed bye-law bans all cycling in parks and open spaces, including linear routes, except on
– designated routes and
– for children under 12 accompanied by adults.

To the best of my knowledge there are no such designated routes. Certainly there’s no information online as to any such routes.

The bye-law is a slight adjustment of the existing bye-law.

Routes through a number of Fingal parks and open spaces are included in the GDA Cycle Network Plan. The National Cycle Policy Framework promotes the use of parks to create traffic-free routes.
Objectives of the County Development Plan include providing cycle routes through a number of Fingal Parks and implementing the Cycle Network Plan . Renewing a bye-law banning cycling on these routes is not acceptable and is not in compliance with the County Development Plan.

Many Fingal parks are important routes to for local students accessing secondary schools by bicycle. For example Seagrange Park Baldoyle and Malahide Demesne.

Suggested bye-law: Cyclists must behave in a manner respectful of other parks users and the character of the area and must give way to pedestrians at all times. Cyclists must not use any route which has been designated as closed to cyclists and must obey any directions of Fingal County Council whether given by signs or by a parks warden.

Priority to pedestrians

All vehicles in parks and open spaces should be required to yield to pedestrians. Reports of authorised vehicles effectively telling pedestrians to move out of their way are not acceptable.

Suggested bye-law additional to that proposed:

All motor vehicles must be driven in a manner respectful of the character of the area and other parks users, give way to pedestrians at all times, and obey any directions of Fingal County Council whether given by signs or by a parks warden.

Observation on planning applications at Holywell for a new roundabout and for a petrol station, takeaway and shop

I have made observations on two linked planning applications in Holywell. The proposal for a petrol station and takeaway is not in keeping with the objective of maintaining residential amenity and providing quality sustainable neighbourhoods. The road design is confused and inadequate for pedestrians and cyclists like other road designs in the Holywell area.

The observation on the road proposal F17/A0392 also includes a copy of the observation on the petrol station/ takeaway F17A/0393.

Objection in relation to proposed redesign of Grange Road junction with industrial estate and design of roads in new development near Red Arches

I have made the following observation:

Observation in relation to Planning Application F16A/0412 at Stapolin, Baldoyle

A chairde,

Please find my observation below.

Availability of information

The majority of the graphics on the online planning file are poorly copied and only partly legible. The technology is easily available to produce good quality copies and it should be used.

Grange Road junction design

Grange Road is identified in the GDA Cycle Network (https://www.nationaltransport.ie/publications/transport-planning/gda-cycle-network-plan/) as a Secondary Route, with the importance of Baldoyle Industrial Estate as an employment centre emphasised.

The proposed redesign of the Grange Road junction will not provide a quality environment suited to cyclists of all ages and abilities. The opportunity should be taken to provide fully cyclist segregation and traffic light phasing at this junction, providing separate cycle facilities on all arms of the junction.

The Dutch Design Manual for Bicycle Traffic (CROW, 2016, ISBN 978 90 6628 659 7) contains this guidance:

 

 

The Irish National Cycle Manual (www.cyclemanual.ie) approaches the division differently but also leads to the same conclusion, given emphasis by its advice that right turning cyclists should not be required to cross multiple lanes of traffic.

The Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (http://www.dttas.ie/corporate/publications/english/design-manual-urban-roads-and-streets ) contains similar advice.

The County Development Plan requires “the design of roads, including cycle infrastructure, in line with the Principles of Sustainable Safety in a manner consistent with the National Cycle Manual and the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets.”

Given that large numbers of HGVs use this junction, it is essential that segregated cycle facilities, with adequate visibility and dedicated cycle and pedestrian phases are provided at this junction.

Overall street design principles for the new development

In line with the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets, the design speed for all roads in the development should be 30km/h and the area should be brought forward for designation as a 30km/h zone straight away so that the designation will be in place before any new streets/roads are opened to use.

Contra flow cycle facilities

One-way routes in the new development should provide for contra flow cycle traffic, as advised in the National Cycle Manual.

Allocation of street space to planting rather than parking

Given the information in the Additional Information response in relation to the over-provision of parking spaces, the fact that the County Development Plan standards are maxima not minima and the proximity of the development to Clongriffin Station, it is important that available street space is used for planting to provide a high quality environment in line with the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets.

Best regards,

Cllr. David Healy

Bathing water identification

Six submissions were received from the public in relation to identifying bathing waters in Fingal. The Council evaluated all of them and decided none of the waters qualified. I had proposed Balscadden Beach and the Broadmeadow Estuary.

In it’s evaluation, Balscadden Beach scored 64 points with a score of 65 required to qualify. Friends of Balscadden Beach will be appealing this ruling.

In relation to Broadmeadow Estuary, there is apparently a legal flaw in the Directive. The evaluation advises:

“The Bathing Water Directive does not recognise inland or coastal waters used for recreational purposes other than contact bathing. Water sports such as surfing, kayaking, or other recreational uses do not in themselves provide reason for identification as ‘bathing water’ unless supported by evidence of bathing within its normal context such as paddling, swimming, or similar water contact.”

I checked with the European Commission who agree with this interpretation. Even if not technically a bathing water it is essential that water quality here is monitored to protect public health and I will follow up.