Observation in relation to building at Grange Road bridge

I have made a written observation on the proposed development in the corner formed by the railway line and Grange Road where the road rises to cross the railway.
                                    54, Evora Park,
                                    Co. Dublin
                                    01 8324087
                                    14th January 2006

Planning Department,
Fingal County Council,
Main St.,
Co. Dublin

Re: Reg. Ref. 05A/1731, Grange Road Baldoyle

A chairde,

I would like to make the following observations in relation to this proposal

1.    The application fails to deal adequately with the design challenge of proximity with Grange Road where it rises to bridge the railway.  The proposal that the bottom floor of the apartment block should be made up of garages and doorways, facing the retaining wall of the road would create an unpleasant and insecure environment.  

One possible improvement in the western part of the site could be  for this area between the building and the retaining wall of the road to be covered over to provide carparking underneath and a 1st floor access to the houses.  The extra carparking gained could remove the need for the ground floor north side of the development to be made up of garages.

2.    The application has been made jointly with Reg. Ref 05A/1799.  The height in that application is clearly excessive, something visible from the photomontages supplied.  It is much harder to guage the visual impact of this proposal but it needs to be considered on its own and not in the context of the unacceptable 1799.

3.    Pedestrian access from the development to Grange Road and bridge over railway.

The application fails to give good pedestrian access to the Grange Road especially for pedestrians travelling west.

4.    Pedestrian and cyclist access from Grange Road to new railway station.  

In addition to the existing station at Howth Junction, a new station is proposed which according to the application is 500m north of the Grange Road.  This site lies along the closest direct line between the Grange Road and the new station.   Therefore provision needs to be made in this application for a pedestrian and cyclists access to the new Station, presumably by a short dedicated link across this application site between Grange Road and the new residential road parallel to the railway line.

5.    Pedestrian and cyclist access to Howth Junction train station.

Although the application makes much of the proximity of Howth Junction Station, it does not refer to the quality of the access to the station.  The developer should be required to contribute to the cost of taking this right of way in charge and bringing it up to a high standard.

6.    Link under Grange Road along railway line.  

Simply improving the existing right of way to Howth Junction will not solve all the problems at this location.  Access to the right of way to Howth Junction from the Grange Road will always be difficult due to the difference in level.  Currently access is by a flight of stairs down from the Grange Road.  If practical, there could be an access at the railway level under the road beside the railway.  If this is possible, the developer should be required to contriute to the cost of this work which will facilitate the development.

7.    Environmental Impact Assessment

The development might need EIA in its own right.  If not, then taken in conjunction with its partner application (shown on the same plans) F05A/1799 and with the adjoining developments to the North within the same Action Area Plan area, it definitely needs EIA.

Finally, I would just note that contrary to what is stated in the application, train services from Howth Junction do not run every 5-10 minutes, (although they will of course remain significantly more frequent than those from the new station when it is built).

I enclose a cheque for €20.

Is mise, le meas,

Cllr. David Healy