Up to 1,000 homes are on the way to Dublin 15 despite flooding concerns

by Sylvia Pownall
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Up to 1,000 new homes will be delivered in Dublin 15 after the council adopted the Barnhill Local Area Plan – despite local concerns over flooding.

The LAP was adopted at a full meeting of Fingal County Council just four days after some local area councillors expressed grave reservations regarding flood risks.

Councillors from all parts of Fingal voted overwhelmingly in favour of the plan, which covers 110 acres of land southwest of Blanchardstown alongside the railway line.

A new road linking Ongar to Hansfield will be built providing access to the landbank which is earmarked for “mixed tenure” housing, recreational facilities including a skate park and playground, a school and childcare facilities.

The first pre-draft consultation was held in 2017. A total of 31 submissions were received during the public consultation period from October to December 2018.

Neighbouring residents warned of the increased risk of flooding posed by 1,000 additional housing units.

One wrote: “We are exceptionally concerned regarding the increased risk of significant flooding to our dwellings … and the houses built in recent years in Hansfield.”

Other residents submitted photographs of flooding in back gardens and fields, with one suggesting the council should accept liability for any flood damage arising.

Less than a week before the LAP was adopted, some D15 councillors questioned whether it adequately addressed the issue of pluvial flooding arising from heavy rainfall.

Solidarity Cllr Matt Waine said past experiences pointed to flooding issues, adding: “I am very, very reticent and very, very nervous about giving this the green light.”

Cllr Paul Donnelly (SF) agreed that the council must be “cognisant of people’s lived experience”.

At the full council meeting he called for building at Barnhill to be stalled until the N3/Littlepace intersection was upgraded and a new bridge constructed.

He later said he voted in favour of the LAP “on the basis that I have assurances that the infrastructure deficit will be addressed. We need housing to be developed alongside infrastructure.

“I think my motion would have really helped to cement that assurance but I’ll continue to fight and campaign for the upgrade.”

Green Party councillor Roderic O’Gorman put forward a motion, that was later passed, requesting that a flood justifications test be required for planning applications.

In his presentation on the LAP, senior planner Colm McCoy said the plan was subject to a robust Strategic Flood Risk Assessment.

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