Category Archives: Uncategorized

Public consultation on recognition of bathing waters

Fingal County Council is looking for input on identifying bathing waters in Fingal. Many heavily used bathing waters in the County are not recognised and therefore the water quality is not tested in accordance with the Bathing Water Directive. Untested waters include Balscadden Beach (below)

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High Rock Malahide (below)high-rock-malahide

and Broadmeadow Estuary, intensively used for dinghy sailing and kayaking.

Please respond to the consultation if you swim in any of these areas or in any other area.

An Bord Pleanála deletes Grange Road Junction from planning permission

In response to my observation, An Bord Pleanála has deleted the Grange Road junction redesign from the planning permission.

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These are the relevant findings in the inspector’s report:
“The proposed development includes works to increase the capacity of the signalised junction between Grange Road and Longfield Road. They would provide an extra lane on the Longfield Road approaching that junction, removing one that heads north away from the junction. They would also provide a left turning lane on the Grange Road approaching the junction from the east and move the signals there forward, removing an existing advance stop line for right-turning cyclists. The proposed works have been justified by the applicant and the Roads Division of the council by reference to modelling of vehicular movements, but an elected member has objected to them as they fail to provide a sufficient level of service for cyclists on a route identified for such in the development plan. The proposed works to the junction would diminish the level of service for cyclists travelling east on Grange Road by removing an advanced stop line and introducing another slip lane, but only to a limited extent. However the local area plan sets out a comprehensive set of proposals regarding roads and access that do not include the works to this junction. The details submitted in the course of the application do not address the potential impact of the proposed works on pedestrians and cyclists, nor do they address the role of Grange Road as an main route serving an area much wider than that covered by the LAP, or the implications of the designation of a school site beside the junction. In these circumstances it would not be prudent to authorise the works to the junction as part of the proposed development. If works are required to this junction, their effects would need to be properly considered by the council before the design was finalised. It would therefore be appropriate that the applicant’s contribution to such works was in the form of a special contribution under section 48(c) of the planning act.”

The full report is online at: http://www.pleanala.ie/casenum/248970.htm

I have included the issue of redesigning the junction for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians on the agenda of the January area committee meeting.

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

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.