Labour Party representative for Dublin South West, Ciarán Ahern, has called on South Dublin County Council to go back to the drawing board on its plans for Rathfarnham Castle.
The current plan is to develop a large commercial retail and food unit of 1,400 sq metres on two courtyards at Rathfarnham Castle, currently used for parking council vehicles.
Mr Ahern has called on SDCC to and consult with locals about more necessary community facilities.
He also highlighted his deep concerns that the plans would involve the demolishment the Seán Keating walled garden at the north of the site to create this new car park.
“I welcome this investment in our area, but have serious concerns that there will be no community benefit to this project as it is entirely a commercial venture,” said Mr Ahern.
“It is also clear that this project will damage local businesses in Rathfarnham village which are already struggling.
“This proposal is a missed opportunity to provide public amenities that our community actually needs, rather than yet another retail unit. This project lacks any vision, ambition or imagination.”
“It is also hard to see how the addition of more car parking complies with our climate goals, or how this is consistent with SDCC’s proposals to remove parking at other local retail areas, such as Rosemount shops in Ballyroan.
“This location is already very accessible by public transport, as it is on the new Bus Connects A Spin, and is just off the new Dodder Greenway,” he added.
Mr Ahern suggested that facilities such as a community theatre, concert hall, outdoor market, community garden, remote work hubs or artist and teen hangout spaces be considered as alternatives.