Updates on local issues

donabate map Updates on local issues raised at recent council meetings.



Question: Councillor P. Mulville “To ask the Chief Executive for an update on progress in securing the new pedestrian/cycle link into St. Patrick’s National Schools, Donabate, as provided for in the Local Area Plan and granted planning permissions on lands at Rahillion?”


The provision of pedestrian and cycle links to St. Patrick’s Boys and Girls National Schools are essential elements of the residential housing scheme permitted under PL06F.240634 (Reg. Ref. F11A/0173) and must be provided as part of this development.
It should be noted that a Commencement Notice with respect to this development was submitted to the Planning Authority on the 16thDecember 2016 with an indicated start date of 11th January 2017 – Roads and Services installation only. As such, construction on site is at an early stage and the linkages referred to have not been provided to date.


 Question: “To ask the Chief Executive for an update on the planned Donabate distributor road, and in particular whether it is still on target for completion by the end of 2018 as per the Capital Programme?”


Essential survey work is ongoing on the Donabate peninsula at present. A topographical survey has been finalised while a ground investigation contract is underway. An archaeological assessment of the route is also underway.
The results of the above activities will feed into the road construction documentation currently being assembled by the Council’s consulting engineers.  The documentation seeking expressions of interest from contractors has been uploaded to the relevant websites.
It is expected that the procurement of a suitable contractor will be completed in Q3 2017 enabling commencement of works on site shortly thereafter.


Motion: Councillor P. Mulville “That the Chief Executive outline what steps have been taken to date to improve road safety at the dangerous bend on the R126/Hearse Road at Lanestown, Donabate, given the frequent traffic accidents at this location, and in particular to outline what possible further options are open to this Council to address the matter.”


The Council has engaged engineering design consultants to examine the feasibility of realigning the Hearse Road, at the existing bend location. A preliminary technical report has been received and it is being reviewed to examine what implication the proposed realignment would have on the adjacent properties and environment.
A satisfactory alignment has now been tabled.  Discussions have taken place with the landowner in order to address his requirements and to progress the issue of land transfer.


Motion: “That the Chief Executive give urgent consideration to the need for resurfacing to be carried out in Corballis, on the stretch of road from the roundabout on the New Road, as far as the turn off the Island Golf Club, as local residents are concerned that this stretch of has not be resurfaced for a long time, and is a busy stretch of road with lots of residential homes along it, as well as a golf clubs and caravan parks?”


The road network in the Donabate/Corballis area has been examined and it is acknowledged that certain sections of the road network would benefit from improvements. It is also recognised that this work would be beneficial to the local community.
This would require significant funding and as there are competing demands for such works throughout the County it is recommended that the requested road improvement work is carried out on a phased basis as part of the Annual Works Programme and in this regard Phase 1 of the road resurfacing in the sum of €40,000 has been included in the 2017 Road Resurfacing Programme.


 Question: Councillor P. Mulville “To ask the Chief Executive if resurfacing can be carried out on the section of the R126 through Donabate, from the Parish Hall as far as Keelings Pub, as it is in a poor state of disrepair, with many potholes along this stretch and with the seam of the road coming apart down the centre?”


All requests for works, received from all sources, are inspected and, where appropriate, are listed for consideration in the preparation of a Works Programme. As resources are finite clearly not all requests can be catered for in any given year. Every effort is made to develop a Works Programme that maximises the benefits from the monies available. Any requests that do not make it onto a Works Programme will of course be considered for any future Programmes.


 Question: “To ask the Chief Executive if he will extend the free Beach Wheelchair Pilot Scheme to Donabate and Portrane beaches?”


Following on from the successful introduction of a Beach Wheelchair at both Portmarnock and Skerries beaches in 2016 it is hoped to further roll out the scheme for the 2017 Bathing Season. We are considering purchasing another one or possibly two wheelchairs.
With this in mind, we are currently assessing a number of our beaches to gauge their suitability in terms of management, accessibility, facilities, parking and footfall. To date it has been decided that Portrane would not be a suitable location for a beach wheelchair (for accessibility reasons), but Donabate is one of the locations that we are strongly considering.


Question: Councillor P. Mulville “To ask the Chief Executive for an update on the provision of the new pedestrian/cycle entrance into Newbridge Demesne on Turvey Avenue, and when works are due to commence given the recent funding acquired for this?


A restored pedestrian/cycle entrance into Newbridge Demesne is proposed at this location to link in with the adjacent walkway/cycleway. It is proposed that the restored entrance is provided in conjunction with a safe crossing point on Turvey Avenue. The crossing point is to be provided within the context of a number of traffic improvements to Turvey Avenue and work is ongoing on the design of the crossing.
Funding is available for this works when an appropriate design and the relevant procurement is in place.


Question: “To ask the Chief Executive for an update on the provision of the new signage to direct visitors into Newbridge Demesne from the railway station given the recent funding acquired for this?”


The signs are being procured at present and as soon as they are delivered arrangements will be made to have them erected.


Question: Councillor P. Mulville “To ask the Chief Executive, further to item 17, June 2016 area meeting for an update on progress in re-opening of the old road/ramp out the Northbound railway station car-park up onto Turvey Avenue for the use of pedestrians, wheelchair users, and parents with buggies?”


This question refers to Item 17, at the Balbriggan / Swords Area Committee Meeting (Services B) on Thursday 9th June 2016.

The reply set out: “Approval to open an access from the Irish Rail property at this location, to link with the adjoining public footpath, has not yet been obtained.  A preliminary design proposal has been developed, however, in anticipation of agreement being achieved. It is proposed to include these works in the work schedule of the Area Engineer if satisfactory progress is made in the meantime.”
The Planning and Strategic Infrastructure Department has not yet discussed the proposed works with the Area Engineer.  A copy of this reply will be forwarded to them with a request that they provide an update on progress, if any.


Question: “To ask the Chief Executive for an update on the provision of the pedestrian/cycle route through the lands at Turvey/Beresford, connecting the Rogerstown lands and Turvey Avenue, as provided for the in the Local Area Plan and granted planning permissions?


The provision of a combined pathway/cycleway through the lands at Turvey/ Beresford, connecting the Rogerstown lands and Turvey Avenue, has been conditioned through the planning process and is being provided on a phased basis concurrent with the active adjacent developments that have been granted planning permission.


Question Councillor P. Mulville “To ask the Chief Executive for an update on the unfinished Gallery development in Donabate, to outline the current position regarding planning permission and when building works are expected to recommence on this site, and the timeframe for completion of same, and in particular as the half-built ruins are an eyesore in the local area?”


Reg. Ref. F04A/1163/E2 relates to an extension of duration of planning permission for a development comprising the following:

Residential development on 0.48 hectares (1.2 acres) at Donabate on lands for which an Area Action Plan was adopted by the Council in October 2001. The site is bounded to the south by the recently completed new access road into Donabate Railway Station off Turvey Avenue, to the east by the Dublin/Belfast railway line, and to the north by the previously approved residential development now under construction (F02A/0993).
The proposal includes 1 no. 3.5/3 storey block with roof terrace (Bock 1) and 1 no. 3 storey block (Block 2) comprising 37 no. apartments as follows: Block 1: 2 no. 1 bedroom units 13 no. 2 bedroom units 1 no. 4 bedroom units Block 2: 1 no. 1 bedroom units 20 no. 2 bedroom units 23 no. surface car parking spaces and 20 no. basement car parking spaces under Block 1 are provided. Site access is provided off previously approved estate roads (F02A/0993). Site development works include a raised and railed courtyard garden, landscaping, refuse storage areas, bicycle parking, and boundary walls and fences are also included’.
A planning application to extend the duration of F04A/1163/E2 was granted by the Planning Authority on the 30th April 2015 up to the 16thApril 2020.
From recent correspondence with the agents/architects for the scheme, it appears that work is to recommence in Spring (2017) and to be completed by Summer (2018).



Motion: “That the Chief Executive apply similar planning conditions around construction traffic management to all future planning applications in the Donabate Portrane area west of the railway line, until such time as the Donabate distributor road is completed and brought into use, similar to conditions which apply to the permitted National Forensic Mental Health Services Hospital, Portrane, namely a) construction traffic is not permitted within the limits of Donabate during morning and evening peak traffic times; and b) that during the school term, construction traffic is not permitted within the limits of Donabate during school drop-off and pick-up times.”


Permission for a proposed 170 bed National Forensic Mental Health Services Hospital on lands at St. Ita’s Hospital, Portrane, Co. Dublin was granted permission by An Bord Pleanála (Ref. 06F.PA0037) under the provisions of the Planning & Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Act 2006 on the 26th May 2015.

Condition no. 12 of the above permission relates to the Construction Traffic Management Plan for the NFMHS Hospital at Portrane and it was a requirement of sub condition 12 (i) and (ii) that, ‘construction traffic is not permitted within the limits of Donabate during morning and evening peak traffic times, the specific time restrictions shall be submitted to and agreed with the planning authority prior to the commencement of development’,
‘during the school term, construction traffic is not permitted within the limits of Donabate during the school drop off and pick up times, the specific time restrictions shall be submitted to and agreed with the planning authority prior to the commencement of development’.
The restrictions that were approved for compliance purposes are as follows.

Monday to Friday only with no Saturday restrictions;

– 07.45am to 09.20am,

– [During School Term only: 13.05pm to 15.35pm (Monday to Thursday) and 12.40pm to 15.00pm (Friday)],

– 17.00pm to 18.30pm.

These restrictive conditions relate to a major national strategic infrastructure development of approx. 4 years duration and were applied in the context of that development proposal.

There is no underlying policy provision in the FCP 2011-2017 to restrict construction traffic to such times particularly on a short term basis for a particular spatial area of Donabate (that is, west of the railway line as outlined in the motion). It would be difficult to impose such restrictions in relation to all future planning applications in the Donabate Portrane area west of the railway line without a formal policy.
Such a policy restriction could be deemed to be unreasonable and could result in appeals involving ABP overturn of such conditions for various reasons as there is a wide variation in the nature, scale and character of planning applications, resulting in delays in certain development outcomes, and potentially difficult requirements in enforcing against developers.
With regard to this overall matter, it is to be noted that a recent ABP permission dated 25th October 2016 for 31 Houses at ‘Glaslinn’, Portrane Road, Donabate, (following a third party appeal against FCC’s decision to grant to permission) had eliminated the conditioned restriction provided for in FCC’s decision that ‘No deliveries of materials, plant or machinery shall take place between between 8.00am and 9.30am in the morning and between 17.00pm and 18.30pm in the evening during the school term, Monday to Friday.
ABP, therefore, not only eliminated the FCC’s conditioned restriction but also did not apply any of the restrictions that had been applied to the above NFMHSH grant of permission.
Construction traffic issues are best considered on a case by case basis through the development management process.


 Question:Councillor P. Mulville “To ask the Chief Executive further previous area committee business, and given the adoption of the local area plan for lands at Donabate, if a scheme can now be brought forward to provide the 30 traditional build social housing units at Ballymastone as per commitment in the current housing strategy, given the urgent housing demand in the local area?”


It is proposed to develop a masterplan for the significant land bank which is in the ownership of the Council in Donabate. It is envisaged that the development would be of mixed tenure with social, affordable rental, private, etc. The Council will consider various models of delivery including public private partnership model to deliver the housing potential of lands in the ownership of the Council.
In conjunction with the development of the masterplan consideration will be given to the early delivery of houses in Phase 1.


Based on a four year water quality assessment, Balcarrick Beach, Donabate was downgraded to ‘Good Status’ for the 2017 season where it was classified as ‘Excellent Status’ in the 2016 season.
In addition the identified bathing water at Portrane, The Brook Beach, has been assigned a ‘Poor Status’ by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the 2017 season.  It was classified as “Good Status” for the 2016 season.
A management plan for Portrane, The Brook Beach has been approved by the EPA with short and long term measures to address potential pollution sources. The plan also incorporates a communication strategy to promote public awareness of the ‘Poor Status’ of the bathing water.

BATHING WATER NAME                     STATUS FOR 2017       2016

Balbriggan, Front Beach                     Sufficient                     Sufficient

Skerries, South Beach                         Good                            Sufficient

Loughshinny Beach                             Poor                             Poor

Rush, North Beach                              N/A                              First Season

Rush, South Beach                              Sufficient                     Poor

Portrane, The Brook Beach                Poor                             Good

Donabate, Balcarrick Beach               Good                            Excellent

Portmarnock, Velvet Strand Beach    Excellent                     Excellent

Sutton, Burrow Beach                         Excellent                     Excellent

Howth, Claremont Beach                   Good                            Good


The only other bathing water with a ‘Poor Status’ in Fingal is Loughshinny Beach. A separate management plan is currently being implemented at this bathing water to address potential pollution sources.
Two Bathing Waters have improved in water quality status for the 2017 Bathing Season:
The Rush South Beach bathing water is at ‘Sufficient Status’ and it no longer requires implementation of the ‘Poor Status’ management plan that was in place for the 2015 and 2016 bathing seasons.
The South Beach, Skerries bathing water has been upgraded from ‘Sufficient Status’ to ‘Good Status’.


Fingal has submitted a Blue Flag Award application for Velvet Strand Beach, Portmarnock for the 2017 season.

An application was not submitted for Balcarrick Beach, Donabate as it did not meet the required water quality criteria of Excellent for a four year period.


Work is underway on the contract to install new Traffic Signals at a number of locations throughout the Swords Ward as follows:


SCHEME                                              STATUS

Melville (Finglas)                                Substantially complete.  Awaiting ESB connection

Swords (Rathbeale Road)                   Nearing substantial completion

Swords (Brackenstown Road)            Currently underway

Donabate (Main Street)                      Due to commence end-April


Motion: “That the Chief Executive provides a detailed report on the tree replacement programme for the Links, Donabate, and in particular with regards to the communication plan and future works.”


A number of replacement trees, including 15 no. street trees and 6 no. large canopy open space trees, have been procured and will be planted at suitable locations throughout the estate in the coming weeks. Full details of all proposed works have been forwarded to the residents association and it is intended to return to the estate in late spring to remove the final 15 trees on the schedule.



 Question: Councillor P. Mulville “To ask the Chief Executive for a detailed report on progress in providing the Broadmeadows cycle and pedestrian way between Donabate and Malahide, including an indicative timeline for the works, and in particular to outline the current issues that need addressing before works can commence?”


An Environmental Impact Statement and a Natura Impact Statement, together with relevant drawings have been prepared for submittal to An Bord Pleanála.
The Council is at present awaiting the outcome of discussions being held between the National Parks and Wildlife Service, who monitor all activity in designated areas, and Irish Rail with regard to potential uses of Irish Rail property.
When the issue of the potential use of Irish Rail land has been resolved and all the documentation is complete and ready to lodge with An Bord Pleanála, the Council will bring a presentation to this Area Committee Meeting.
It is not possible to give an indicative time line for the works until such time as the above items are resolved.


Question: “To ask the Chief Executive for an update as to when a meeting can take place between Council staff and the Community Centre and local community representatives, to discuss plans for the old Educate Together site on Ballisk Common, Donabate?”


As previously indicated proposals emerging from the local community will be considered. It is suggested, in the first instance, that the committee submit their ideas/proposals with regard to the site in question so that the merits of proposals can be considered in advance.
Relevant Departments of the Council will then arrange to meet with the Board of Donabate Portrane Community Centre and other local representatives.


Question: Councillor P. Mulville “To ask the Chief Executive for an update as to when the planned meeting can take place between local sports clubs and Council officials to discuss the Ballymastone sports campus and the masterplan proposal, and related issues?”


The Parks & Green Infrastructure Division of the Council is available to meet with the clubs in question to discuss their ideas and proposals with a view to developing a strategic plan to meet their current and future requirements.


Question: “To ask the Chief Executive if consideration can be given to the provision of some play equipment for young children on the back green at Longstone Park, Portrane, which fronts onto the Burrow Road, as the children living in the houses here, who play out on the green area, have requested that a small amount of basis outdoor play equipment could be provided here as there is currently nothing?”


Such facilities are expensive to install and maintain.  Also daily visual and weekly recorded inspections are required.  It is therefore the policy of Fingal County Council that such play facilities are only located in neighbourhood or regional parks where a larger population is served and the equipment can be adequately inspected.


 Question: Councillor P. Mulville:“To ask the Chief Executive whether Fingal County Council currently has a Road Safety Officer in its employment, and if not if he will seek to recruit one as a matter of urgency?”


The Senior Engineer, Operations Department (Mr. Liam Coughlan) is the Council’s Road Safety Officer. In addition the Council has a Road Safety Promotion Officer (Ms. Niamh Russell).

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