Recent proposals to build more houses in Donabate has caused concern amongst many residents. The crux of the concern for many is the potential overcrowding of the limited road space, schools and youth facilities. Traffic congestion has always been a problem but this has been accentuated by the a large scale building programme for the hospital grounds in Portrane.
Fine Gael Local Area representative for the area, Bob Dowling spoke to the County Leader about the concern of residents. He said, “Two years have passed since the granting of planning permission and nothing substantial has been done to plan for traffic management when construction traffic trundles through the village next September.
“Talk about the Donabate Distributor Road has been around since 2006. Funded 75 per cent from central funding, with the remainder by Council work beginning next year. The original plan was predicated on developer levies which collapsed with the economic crash. So the opportunity to build infrastructure in advance of development was not taken due to lack of funding. Recently development along the planned route has caused local concerns,” he said.
Dowling has been contacted by many concerned residents in The Links estate and other areas in Donabate. “The whole peninsula is eager to ensure a large land bank of council owned land in Ballalease/ Ballymastone is developed with the right balance of housing which is in keeping with the overall nature of the town. An housing application by Tilberry Limited, which Bernard McNamara is the major share holder, has been made for a site adjoining these council owned lands,” he said. “This is the second company associated with the former developer to apply for planning in the area. Residents are concerned about the predominance of duplex units in this application, and want a greater mix of standard family homes, while it’s difficult to oppose the provision of housing in a housing crisis, we owe it to prospective residents to protect their right to ensure they can find quality family homes in spacious developments, despite increasing directives on housing densities,” said Dowling.
He continued, “I want to see good decent housing available in this area, both private, social and affordable so my children will be able to find a future family home around here and not be forced out to far flung commuter towns. We must ensure any application adjoining the LAP lands sets the tone for future applications in this LAP land,” he insisted.
Dowling spoke of further concerns surrounding lack of consultation with local residents. He said, “An equally alarming aspect to this development is the proposed insertion of a road to be constructed by the developer to join the Portrane Road to the New Road, effectively creating another village by-pass road. This is on the Local Area Plan (LAP) land and not indicated on the most recent development plan maps.”
“While fully accepting that roads will need to be constructed to develop this land bank, residents should be consulted and the full plans available for all the land bank before construction begins. Residents are in the dark in this regard and deserve a say in how their town should be developed. Without clarity, nobody is the wiser and the last thing we want is a piece meal approach to the housing and road plans for these LAP lands,” concluded Dowling.