A number of developers have been temporarily prevented from constructing new housing schemes for Donabate due to reported concerns from residents’. The local area plan for Donabate anticipates the construction of 4,000 homes.
However, locals are concerned that the area will be overwhelmed by the level of planning applications. The fact that the terminus for Metro North had originally been considered for location close to the Donabate Roundabout, has now been re-routed to a location nearer to Swords, with the park and ride facility to be located close to Ballymun. Many believe that this is due to the lack of infrastructure in Donabate, eliminating it from consideration.
Roger Lambe, who is treasurer of Donabate Community Council, told the County Leader, “Getting in and out of the village at certain times of the day is a nightmare. The infrastructure just isn’t there. It can take 20 minutes to leave the village at 9am on a Friday morning; such is the volume of traffic.”
“You cannot put more houses in a place that you cannot get out of. The solution to the problem is to build the promised by-pass and then think about building the 4,000 houses. The County Council have to show their bona fides, because they built a whole raft of houses in the village, without doing anything for the area. They even located the Central Mental Hospital here, which will push even more traffic through the area. They must build the by-pass before they consider any further developments. The area around SuperValu in the centre of the village is an accident waiting to happen and I feel the Council are not including this in their traffic plans,” he said.
In recent weeks, the County Council have put on hold plans for 286 homes close to Beaverstown Golf Club, while they also placed on hold plans to construct 36 homes off Beaverstown Road, as well as for a mixed-use development at Turvey Avenue that included 33 apartments. New plans have recently been lodged by McGarrell Reilly Homes for the construction of 196 houses and 62 apartments on lands off the Hearse Road, Donabate.
A County Council spokesperson confirmed, “The planning applications referred to are in the planning process at present and details of the individual applications are available at the Council offices and on fingal.ie. A development may only proceed when a final grant of planning permission is granted. Third party submissions are a valid part of the statutory planning process and form part of the planning consideration/assessment,” the statement concluded.
Local councillor, Adrian Henchy (FF) did not envisage any such problems when he told the County Leader, “It will take many development plans to deliver that amount of housing units. The key to all of this is the full delivery of the by-pass road which will open up the lands at Ballymastone and Corballis, which will be of immense benefit to the new Central Mental Hospital at Portrane.”
Getting straight to the nub of the problem, Henchy insisted, “This by-pass is a critical piece of infrastructure for new houses in that strip of land. Everyone knows that with its current infrastructure, Donabate is near capacity and that the only place where new houses can be constructed is along the Donabate/Portrane by-pass, which will allow for further development into the future.”
“The total number of 4,000 houses relates to the final amount of houses to be built when everything is in place, including the by-pass road and this is what the County Development Plan allows for. That infrastructure is going to take time, perhaps years, so when the by-pass is built, it will open up the future lands. Previous developments were concentrated off Turvey Avenue and off the Beaverstown Road. Future developments will be off the by-pass road, leading from Kilcrea, across Corballis, with a new railway crossing. It then crosses the Strand housing estate and across Ballymastone and on to the Portrane Road,” he said.
“Over the next number of years, there will be a few hundred houses built. When the Donabate by-pass road is built, this opens up the land for further development, which can accommodate up to 4,000 houses, but that is years away,” he stressed.
Henchy feels that there is reasonable development in the area at present, like Carrs Mills, Beverton etc. McGarrell Reilly has an application in at present and eventually that will be built. I think the applications must meet the needs of the community. I think we are going about it in the right way,” he said. Henchy feels that roads and footpaths in the area need to be updated first and foremost. My understanding from speaking to school principals, is that the current schools in the community are not enormously oversubscribed. We have plans for further schools provision on the lands at Ballymastone and these sites have been earmarked. There are plans to upgrade facilities and infrastructure in line with the planned 4,000 houses, with a new sports campus at Ballymastone, a new nature reserve at Corballis and a plan to create a new access road into the boys and girls schools on the Portrane Road. The secondary school is not at full capacity either,” he said.