Category Archives: Other / eile

Kinsealy greenways added to Local Area Plan

At the monthly Council meeting on Monday 13th May, I succeeded in having greenway links from Kinsealy a) to Portmarnock, b) to Kettle’s Lane and c) to Balgriffin/Belmayne included in the Kinsealy Local Area Plan.

Importantly, my motion on phasing resulted in a decision that the greenway from Kinsealy to Old Portmarnock/R124  (which will give access to Portmarnock railway station) be included with a timeframe of including it in the 2020 Capital Programme and submitting the planning application for it in 2021. Continue reading

Motions to amend Kinsealy Local Area Plan

Having received the Chief Executive’s report on the public consultation on the draft LAP, I am not happy with the lack of progress on connecting Kinsealy to neighbouring areas especially to Portmarnock railway station and I’m proposing the following four amendments to the Plan:

Motion 1

That in response to recommendations received, including from the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government, the LAP be amended to include the following in section 11:

The full segregated cycle and pedestrian link to Old Portmarnock/ R124 to provide access to Portmarnock train station shall be provided as part of the first phase of further development under the Kinsealy Local Area Plan.

Continue reading

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.

Design problems on Kilbarrack to Sutton coastal promenade

In May 2015 I proposed this motion:

“That the Chief Executive and Council remove all obstacles on the Coastal cycle route from Sutton to the Kilbarrack Road and bring forward a senstive design for providing lighting to the shadowed area of the cycle track and to remove the hazard posed by steps which cut into the track.”

Since then I have heard of collisions on the route due in particular to the lighting problem. Last month, April 2017, i raised the issue again:

Councillor D. Healy – Kilbarrack to Sutton Cycle Route. AI036623
“That the Chief Executive report on progress in relation to addressing the design flaws in the cycle route from Kilbarrack Road to Sutton including lighting, obstacles and steps as discussed at this Committee in May 2015 and October 2016.”

Report:
The cycletrack is due to be widened in the coming months by altering the lining. The bins will be moved out of the cycletrack and on to the footpath. The lining will be designed around the larger poles and the steps to guide bicycles around them.

Minute:
Following discussion Mr. Stephen Peppard, Senior Executive Officer agreed to have the potential issues around the lighting examined by the Public Lighting Section and that further discussions would take place with the Traffic Engineers regarding the steps.
If you have direct or indirect experience of the difficulties caused by the current design, please let me know.

Fingal to join Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, and to draft common Climate Change Strategy with other 3 Dublin Councils

Councillors from all areas of Fingal and all parties have emphasised the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Fingal and adapting to climate change. We included relevant  objectives in the draft Development Plan which was on display earlier this year and had good in depth discussions at the Planning Strategic Policy Committee.

At the July meeting the Council decided unanimously to join the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and to prepare a common Climate Change Strategy together with Dublin City, South Dublin, and Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown.

Details are in the report approved by the Council below:

Continue reading

Where do you swim? Public Participation in the Identification of Bathing Waters

Under the Bathing Waters Directive and the Bathing Water Quality Regulations 2008 (SI No 79 of 2008) Fingal County Council must identify official bathing areas in our administrative area every year so that they can be monitored for safety, water quality and their level of use.

To help with this process, Fingal County Council is now asking people who swim at beaches and rivers to tell us if they think we should maintain the existing list of identified bathing waters and/or identifying any areas that are commonly used for swimming but not listed at the moment.

Among the popular swimming areas in Howth / Malahide Ward not currently recognised and tested as bathing waters are Balscadden Beach  in Howth and High Rock and Low Rock in Malahide. If you swim at these locations, please let the Council know.

To propose the Council recognise any well used beach not currently on the list or comment on an existing site please go to https://consult.fingal.ie/en/browse .

Meanwhile the occasional tests carried out by the Council at Balscadden and Ireland’s Eye happened again at the end of June. Both locations were identified as having excellent water quality. See results below.

Location Sampling Point Sample Number E. coli Enterococci Floating Materials Mineral Oil (visual) pH Phenols_Olfactory Salinity Surfactants Visual Inspection
MPN/100ml CFU/100ml pH PSU
(49934)  Balscadden Bay 27/06/2016  08:30 1163999 <10 <1 Absent Absent 8.1 Absent 33.4 Absent Normal
(49935)  Ireland’s Eye 27/06/2016  09:30 1164000 <10 <1 Absent Absent 8.1 Absent 33.5 Absent Normal

Proposals in Malahide Demesne for a Forest Adventure Area and an Extension to the Bridgefield Car Park

Late last year a proposal was brought before the Councillors for a “Forest Adventure Area and Multi-use Reinforced Grass Area.”

In principle I think a canopy walk or similar somewhere in Malahide Demesne could be an excellent proposal. However it would depend on the design and details of the proposal including its environmental impact and its impact on park users.

That information is not available because it doesn’t yet exist.

I pointed out the inadequacies in the information supplied at the December Area Committee meeting, saying I expected that detailed information would be in the proposal put on public display. I didn’t receive a reply to that comment at the meeting and unfortunately it didn’t happen. I also pointed out that they proposal appeared to be two separate and distinct proposals and suggested they be put to consultation separately. The joint proposal was nonethless put on display as presented to the Councillors:

So I checked the applicable legislation to establish what is legally required to be put on display.   The regulations provide as follows:

83.(1) A local authority shall make available for inspection in accordance with article 81(2)(d)(i)—

(a) a document describing the nature and extent of the proposed development and the principal features thereof, including-

(i) where the proposed development would consist of or comprise the provision of houses, the number of houses to be provided,

(ii) where proposed development would relate to a protected structure or a proposed protected structure, an indication of that fact,

(iii) where the proposed development would comprise or be for the purposes of an activity requiring an integrated pollution control licence or a waste licence, an indication of that fact,

(b) a location map, drawn to a scale of not less than 1:1000 in built up areas and 1:2500 in all other areas (which shall be identified thereon) and marked or coloured so as to identify clearly the land on which it is proposed to carry out the proposed development,

(c) except in the case of development of a class specified in article 80(1)(b) or (c),—

(i) a site layout plan, drawn to a scale of not less than 1:500, showing the boundary of the site on which it is proposed to carry out the proposed development and the buildings or other structures, and roads or other features, in the vicinity of the site, and

(ii) such other plans and drawings, drawn to a scale of not less than 1:100, as are necessary to describe the proposed development,

(d) in the case of development of a class specified in article 80(1)(b), such plans and drawings drawn to a scale of not less than 1:2500, as are necessary to describe the proposed development,

(e) in the case of development of a class specified in article 80(1) (c), such plans and drawings drawn to a scale of not less than 1:200, as are necessary to describe the proposed development.

The requirements which I have highlighted in bold have not been met.

At the May Area Committee meeting I asked the officials to confirm that the above is the applicable legislation, which they did. The Committee then agreed to my proposal to ask the Law Agent for advice, to be received before the June meeting. As of today (Monday 30th May) that advice has not yet been received by the Councillors.

The Parks Department have confirmed that they are trying to get an approval before the design is done.

It is clear to me that it would not be legal for the Councillors to give Part 8 approval to a project which hasn’t been designed and for which the information required to be put on public display has not been made available. I will be most surprised if the Law Agent advises otherwise.

It may be less convenient, but the correct procedure, as for any one else making another type of planning application, is to produce a design, put that design on display and make a decision on the basis of the design and the public consultation.

As for the Car Park extension, this was originally presented to Councillors as a multi-use area. It later became clear from the Planning Department that they see it as a car park extension. Such a proposal should only be considered, if at all, in the context of overall changes to traffic and parking in the town – which to date have not been proposed.

UPDATE 31st May:

This afternoon the Councillors received the Law Agent’s advice which sets out the legal requirements which have not been met and warns that going ahead with the project would be vulnerable to legal challenge. I expect that the current process will be abandoned.

I hope the Parks Department will continue to work on the idea of a forest adventure area with a view to coming up with a clear proposal which everyone would welcome.

UPDATE 1st July:

The Councillors at the June Howth/Malahide Area Committee voted 5 to 3 against approving the project, all of the majority asking for the two proposals to be separated from each other and for proper design and analysis to be done on the forest adventure area, which we all would like to see in principle.

The Parks Department have indicated that notwithstanding the vote at the Area Committee, they will be asking the full Council meeting on 11th July to approve the project.

County Development Plan open to Public Consultation from today

Fingal County Council’s draft County Development Plan 2017-2023 is on display for public consultation from today until 4.30pm on 29th April.  The draft Plan is online and available in all Fingal libraries. There will also be public meetings as part of the consultation process.

There are a number of aspects of the plan which need to be changed to bring it more into line with a transition to a sustainable low-carbon climate resilient Fingal. I will be working to make these changes.

The next stage of the plan will be to consider the response to the public consultation at a series of meetings in the Autumn.