Community council disappointed minister won’t meet it

Donabate Portrane Community Council has expressed disappointment that Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien will not meet it.

The community council wants to discuss the minister’s previous promise to abolish the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) process.
This process allows developers to bypass local authorities and apply directly to An Bord Pleanála for planning permission.
It applies to developments of over 100 homes.

In a related development, Donabate Portrane Community Council said it had been contacted by developer Cairn Homes which is seeking planning permission for 36 houses and 28 apartments/duplexes at Ballymastone in Donabate.
The company is seeking planning permission from Fingal County Council.
An objection to the scheme has been submitted by Donabate Portrane Community Council, which said it would be inappropriate to meet the developer ahead of a decision on the planning application.

The community council wrote to Minister O’Brien last month.
In the letter it was stated that the community is alarmed at plans by Cannon Kirk to use the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) process to apply to build housing 1,368 units at Corballis East in the village.

An Bord Pleanála has categorised 1,000 of these units as apartments.
The letter to the minister stated that in this instance the SHD process is facilitating an unsustainable exercise in over-development.

The community council reminded the minister in the letter that he promised to abolish the SHD process while he was canvassing during the general election earlier this year.

The letter stressed that the community council is fully aware that as minister Mr O’Brien cannot get involved in specific planning applications.
But it said that as minister he sets the rules of the game and has the power to abolish the SHD, as he promised.

It is simply not sustainable to crash-land development on this scale in an area grossly ill-equipped to take it by using a blunt instrument like SHD to achieve it, the letter states.

A spokesperson for the community council said that it was disappointed that the minister is not prepared to meet the group, and that the reply was not from the minister.

The reply was sent by the private secretary of junior housing minister Peter Burke.

The reply states that Minister O’Brien is precluded from exercising any control over any specific planning case, something the community council said it accepted.

The reply adds that the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) process will remain in place until the end of next year.

“The issues addressed in the community council’s letter to Minister O’Brien are serious and deserve to be dealt with by him,” the spokesperson said.
“The minister gave a commitment before this year’s general election that he would abolish the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) process. He has gone back on his word,” the community council added.

Massive infrastructural deficiencies mean Donabate cannot cope with the addition of 1,000 apartments, the community council said.

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The Christmas lights are on in Donabate!
Covid restrictions meant no festival this year, but the village is looking dressed and festive for the season ahead.
Well done to Karl Harte & all the team at CP Electrical.
Wishing you all a safe, healthy & happy Christmas.

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Ho Ho Hello everyone.

We are very excited to announce that Santa will visit Donabate, via Zoom, live from the North Pole on Saturday 5th December, from 2-5pm.

Numbers will be limited and booking is essential, keep an eye on Facebook for details and links in the next few days.

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Christmas is coming to Donabate very soon! ...

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Community council calls on planners to listen to residents

Planning officials have been called on to change course and take heed of community concerns.

Donabate Portrane Community Council made the call after what it said was an embarrassing admission that planners in the area have got it wrong again.

The failure of Fingal County Council and An Bord Pleanála to act on the community council’s concerns now means expensive mitigation measures have to be taken to avoid pedestrian and traffic safety issues.

Donabate Portrane Community Council was among 28 objectors to the Glaslinn housing scheme, pointing out the potential for traffic and pedestrian issues at the site.

Some 31 housing units were granted permission for the Glaslinn site, first by Fingal County Council, and on appeal by An Bord Pleanála.

Back in 2016, when the Glaslinn planning application was being considered, Donabate Portrane Community Council warned that the vehicular entrance to the site on the Portrane Road does not give safe sight lines for vehicles entering and leaving the estate.

The community council, in an objection to the planning permission, also called for a traffic management plan to be carried out.

Similar points were made by the Links Residents’ Association, along with a number of members of the public.

Four years later Fingal Council has now admitted that it has to consider a pedestrian crossing, a ramp at the estate entrance and/or traffic lights to deal with the difficulties for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists exiting and entering the Glaslinn estate.

Glaslinn residents have reported a number of near misses for pedestrians crossing the road from Glaslinn.

They also report narrowly-avoided accidents for motorists inching their way on to the Portrane Road from the estate.

The potential for these traffic and pedestrian issues were well flagged by the community to Fingal County Council and to An Bord Pleanála.

A spokesperson for Donabate Portrane Community Council said a review of the planning documents shows the community’s concern about road and pedestrian safety issues were given scant regard by Fingal County Council.

The development was granted permission by the county council, and this was appealed.

Donabate Portrane Community Council again raised the safety issues with An Bord Pleanála.

But the scheme was given permission.

An Bord Pleanála noted that the “…the proposed development would not seriously injure the character of the area or the amenities of property in the vicinity and would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience.”

The planning board added: “The proposed development would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”

Donabate Portrane Community Council said it was extraordinary that its concerns were not listened to, and it was embarrassing for planners who have got it wrong again.

“A more humble approach by planners would save money and lives.

“The issues that now require expensive and unproven mitigation measures could have been avoided if Donabate Portrane Community Council and members of the community were listened to,” the spokesperson added.

Planners were called on to change their approach and start listening to communities.

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