Fine Gael Submission for the La Vista Ltd. and E.P Lynam Planning Application on the Clonsilla road

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

With so many residential units in the pipeline for the area we feel that the small gain from higher density in this application is not justified given the negative impact it would have on the unique character of the area. The site in question is zoned with objective ‘SC’ - “to protect and enhance the special physical and social character of major suburban centres and provide and/or improve urban facilities”.

The site has been the subject of a number of previous applications. Although it was not included in the study area of the Clonsilla Urban Strategy, it is referred to as Opportunity Area No. 7 in the final draft. This reflects its central location and the impact any development here will have on what is essentially an old nineteenth century linear estate village.

The site itself is triangular and bounded on both the east and west by two-storey semi detached housing. A potential problem in the layout of the two-storey houses in the application is that the gable walls seems very close to the rear of some of the houses backing onto the site from Portersgate Estate. These were built with extended kitchens which are not indicated in the map and so are much closer than the plans suggest.

The southern side is bounded by the Clonsilla Road which experiences very heavy traffic. Across the road are a number of original single-storey old council cottages which the urban strategy seeks to protect. The old one-storey post office which is opposite the link road is singled out for protection as is the old forge in the middle of the road near the railway bridge. Beside it is St. Mary’s Church which is listed as a protected structure. There is extensive tree planting and hedging along the road and wide green verges making for very pleasing aspects.

The whole effect is very picturesque and apart from the constant traffic and ugly overhead lines this side of the village is virtually unchanged in over a hundred years. Indeed it is one of the most important characteristics of the village and presumably is what the urban strategy refers to when it states that “the planning Authority will seek to reinforce the village character” (CEO 3).

The current application proposes four-storey “shoe box style” apartment blocks along the Clonsilla road’s northern boundary with the site. These four-storey buildings are out of sympathy with the neighbouring two-storey estates and will tower over the small cottages on the southern side of the road. Allowing this application will transform the area such that similar development on the southern side of the road will be inevitable, contrary to the objectives urban strategy.

The proposed five-storey block at the junction of the Link road will certainly be a ‘feature’ but not one enjoyed by local residents or commuters and will alter forever the picturesque vista as one approaches this end of the village.

The arguments in favour of higher density on this site must be considered in context with the developments already taking place around the Clonsilla Rail Station. At the western end of the station the Hansfield SDZ provides for over 3,000 residential units. The recently rezoned Kellystown Lands to the station’s south eastern side could provide for some 1,500 units and it’s possible that in the future development may be sought for the lands at Beechpark to the south of the station.

Infill sites identified in the Clonsilla Urban Strategy provide for both houses and apartments. Those within the village are to be mainly two-storeys with the few three-storey buildings indicated away from the road and closer to the canal. Developments on adjoining sites such as this one should at least be of similar character.

With so many residential units in the pipeline for the area we feel that the small gain from higher density in this application is not justified given the negative affect it would have on the unique character of the area.

This site is the last remaining one on the northern side of the Clonsilla Road. The applicants were responsible for most of the other houses built here as Charnwood and the various Castlefield estates. As with most developments infrastructure is the last phase to be built but it is regrettable that some type of community facility has not have been included in this application to provide for the hundreds of residents who chose to make their homes here. The urban strategy identifies the lack of such facilities in the area (section 5.0)

Yours Sincerely, Yours Sincerely

Kieran Dennison Dr. Leo Varadkar T.D.



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Information Evening and Display of Plans for Snowtopia, Schools & Community Centre in Park Plaza Hotel Thurs 29 Jan from 7.30- 9pm.

The for planning application (F08A/1446) for Snowtopia Ski and Leisure Development has just been submitted and if successful construction will begin this year. It is to be located behind the Park Plaza Hotel where Ireland's largest retail park comprising fifteen retail warehouses is already planned (

Accommodated in a single building, the project will feature two ski slopes, the longest running for 190m, a climbing/ice climbing zone, a gym, a multi function recreation area, paintball centre, a 10 screen digital theatre with snack bar, a family adventure play area, 3 shops and 5 restaurant/cafe units. Outside there’s a winter ice rink and parking for 835 cars and buses to cater for the expected 1.5 million visitors a year. A 5 aside soccer centre will be the subject of a further planning application.

Snowtopia will be similar to recent winter sport developments in Manchester and Milton Keynes in the UK. In Manchester the fee for 90 minutes skiing including equipment hire is around £24 and developers indicate a similar pricing model for “Snowtopia” with a discount for local residents. They hope to open the centre in the third quarter of 2010 creating up to 700 jobs and another 300 indirect jobs. The centre will be built in conjunction with the new N2-N3 link road. There will also be direct bus services from the city and feeder buses to the rail link at the Phoenix Park Station which will benefit local residents by servicing the village. This is a very welcome development for Tyrrelstown and Dublin West.


No Excuse Now For Government Inaction on Tyrrelstown Schools and Community Centre

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tired of waiting around for Fianna Fail and the Greens to provide basic facilities, Twinlite have gone ahead and got planning to build two permanent schools and a community/recreation centre for Tyrrelstown.

You may recall I held a public meeting in support of the initial application for this last July (Ref No. F08A/0787). It was opposed by Paul Donnelly of Sinn Fein and Joe Higgins and Ruth Coppinger of the Socialist Party on the basis that the application was by a private developer. This despite the fact that the Department of Education put all such building projects out to tender to private builders.

The application by Twinlite follows many years of frustration and broken promises by the government to fund permanent schools in Tyrrelstown. Based on the Department of Education’s own blueprints, they intend to build two sixteen classroom schools with separate playgrounds, resource rooms, admin/staff rooms etc., along with a shared two storey community centre/ general purpose hall (area 1252 sq.m) including conference / meeting rooms, offices and changing rooms together with ballparks and landscape works on an area of 6.91 acres. They have offered to sell the schools to the Department at cost price or to rent them at cost to the Department on a long-term lease.

This is about as good a deal as the Department will get in a long time but nothing will happen unless the Fianna Fail Green Government provides the capital funding needed to buy the school. The Department have indicated they do not have a mechanism to lease the building at cost price. Meanwhile the areas two schools languish in prefabs on the side of Powerstown Road and the local gaelscoil has not even got a site, let alone a building. With gaelscoileanna already in Coolmine and Dunboyne, a gaelscoil in Tyrrelstown could provide sufficient numbers for a second level gaelscoil in Dublin West.

Agus na toghcháin áitiúla ag teannadh linn, tá an dóchas ann go mbeidh gníomhaíocht ar an ceisteanna seo i mBaile an Tirialaigh agus ní amháin geallúintí folamha Fhianna Fáil agus an Chomhaontais Ghlais.


Clonsilla To Go High Rise

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Clonsilla To Go High Rise - Plans, Drawings and further information will be on display at our Information Evening Upstairs in the Clonsilla Inn on Tuesday Jan 13th from 7.30pm to 9 pm.

Two planning applications were submitted on December 23rd which may be of interest to residents of Clonsilla. Both are at the Junction of the Clonsilla Road / New Link Road, accross from the filling station. Objections must be made by February 4th accompanied by the requisite €20 fee.

Paul & Harry Warnock have applied (F08A/1440) to redevelop the Old Post Office (beside the funeral home) and the site behind it for a medical centre, crèche, community studios, nursing home, semi-support elderly housing/ apartments. You may recall I alerted you to a previous application on this site for a large private car parking facility in May last year which was declared invalid and it seems that this one has been as well.

Across the road at the junction of the New Link Road, E P Lynam Properties have applied (F08A/1445) to develop the vacant site there for a mixed use residential and neighbourhood centre totalling 176 dwellings of up to 5 storeys in height.

Thirty three 3 and 4 bed houses will back onto Portersgate Estate. The remaining 143 apartments comprising 3 and 4 storey blocks will front onto the New Link Road and the Clonsilla Road. Completing the development is a 5 storey ‘feature’ building at the corner with the New Link Road comprising a neighbourhood centre of 5 Retail Units. Unlike a previous application on this site there is no proposal included for a licensed premises. The entrance to the development will be opposite the entrance to Castlefield Court Estate. One of my criticisms of the current council’s Clonsilla Urban Strategy, which mandates a maximum height of three storeys for the village, was that it did not apply to this site. While some political parties will no doubt support such high density development beside a train station a 5 storey building here is a out of character with the area.

Lynam’s have also submitted an application (F08A/1444) to for a 1 and 2 storey Creche at their other site adjoining the Ongar Road to service the 182 dwellings proposed there (F05A/1153) as well as the new development. There has already been some site preparation here but I am informed there will be no further work given the disastrous state our economy is in.

December 23 seems to have been a busy day in the planning office. Among the other applications submitted on was one for 538 dwellings with associated shops, offices etc. in blocks up to four storeys high (F08A/1425) on the vacant site at St. Patrick’s National School in Carpenterstown.

On the same day Uxbridge Ltd. submitted new plans (F08A/0892) for the controversial high rise development opposite Myos in Castleknock which your local Fine Gael team objected to previously. We will continue working on your behalf.



Friday, January 2, 2009

Despite the recent series of interest rate cuts announced by the European Central Bank, mortgage holders living in Affordable Homes bought from Fingal County Council and the government’s Affordable Housing Partnership still have not benefited from the reductions.

Fingal County Council’s current variable rate is 5.25% and the fixed rate is 5.5%.

The Council is charging a significantly higher interest rate than the commercial banks and they are imposing the charge on the people in our community who are finding it hardest to make ends meet.
The ridiculous bureaucratic system operated by the government is to blame for this. Fingal County Council only reduces rates after the government’s housing quango, the Housing Finance Agency controlled by John Gormley, tells the council that the European Central Bank has cut rates. This results in a significant delay.

The ECB cut interest rates for the first time in October. But the government agency did not get around to formally informing Fingal County Council until December 2008. The council will take another month before passing it on to mortgage holders in the form of a 0.5% cut on January first. The second decrease of 0.5% will not come into effect until Feb 1st, bringing the rate to 4.25%. Fingal’s loans department is still waiting for authorisation on the third decrease of 0.75%.

At a time when thousands of people are losing their jobs and many home owners are under serious pressure to repay mortgages, the largest county council in the country is not passing on the benefits of interest rate cuts to local authority mortgages holders under the affordable housing scheme.

Current Commercial Bank Rates
Allied Irish Bank:

As of December 17th 2008 3.75%

Bank of Ireland (College Green, Dublin 2)
First time buyer variable rate:
December 2008 4.1%

Permanent TSB
First time buyer variable rate
January 2nd 2009 4.19%


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