Calls on Fingal County Council to secure lands for sale in Swords

by Rose Barrett
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swords, forest Rd

Cllr Joe Newman – Independent for Swords, has voiced his concerns re a number of fields for sale near Dublin Airport.

The land he claims is at the north end of Ridgewood Estate and close to Forest Little Golf Club.  Cllr Newman is calling on Fingal County Council to purchase the lands for community usage, as Swords is in dire need of more public amenities.

“The agents who have been instructed to bring this land to the market are Frank Knight Estate Agents,” said Cllr Newman. “They are advertising the property as a 12.5-acre (approx) plot with approximately five acres zoned for residential development.”

The estate agents noted that Swords is the third largest town in Ireland with an impressive range of shopping centres, retail parks, restaurants and outlets in the area. Frank Knights described the lands as falling under the Fingal Development Plan 2023-2029,  of which circa five acres is zoned residential ‘to provide for residential development and protect and improve residential amenity’ and the balance of the lands, roughly 8 acres is zoned objective Green Belt ‘to protect and provide for a greenbelt’”.

The Forest Little lands it claims extend to approx 12.8 acres (5.17 hectares) are currently greenfield and fairly regular topography. 

swords, forest Rd

“The site benefits from approximately 175m frontage to Forest Road and is bounded by the exiting Ridgewood Estate to the north and agricultural lands to the west and south. Forest Road links the Naul Road to Swords Main Street and is highly accessible to the M1, M2, M50 motorways and Port Tunnel, and close to the popular coastal amenities of Malahide and Portmarnock,” noted the estate agents.

Cllr Newman, however, is very concerned that if this property is purchased by a developer, they will seek planning to build family homes there and try to extend the zoning to include the entire 12.5 acres – thereby contravening the 2023/29 development plan. Worse still, this could break the “Green Necklace” that he and other councillors have worked so hard to get the local authority to establish.

Albeit five acres are already zoned residential, Cllr Newman says it would be absolutely outrageous to build homes at this location. 

“We have all heard the complaints of Swords residents who are suffering the ongoing problems with excessive noise from aircraft since the opening of the new runway, along with parking issues from passengers using Dublin Airport.

“Why in the world would anybody want to build homes this close to an international airport? I suspect that the only people who would buy them would be landlords letting them out to people who are desperately looking for somewhere to live in this time of huge scarcity of housing.” 

Indeed, the area surrounding the said lands for sale does host a number of local employers, such as Ryanair, HSE, Fujitsu and Dublin Airport which provides 19,900 direct jobs with a further 11,700 indirect jobs from firms which support or supply the airport. So, rental accommodation is always highly sought after in Swords which is highly accessible to Dublin City Centre employers and colleges via the Swords Express, 41 and 41C bus routes, future planned connectivity via the Metro Link or roads network

“I am now calling on Fingal County Council to purchase this property and to use it to implement the objectives of the county development plan 2023/29. This affords the council a fantastic opportunity to use this land for community amenities that are so badly needed in Swords town,” concluded Cllr Newman.

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