Concerns over ‘concrete jungle’ heeded as four key plans for massive growth of Swords adopted

by Sylvia Pownall
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Four master plans which will bring up to 18,000 jobs and 10,000 new residents to Swords have been formally passed by Fingal County Council.

Blueprints for development on lands at Fosterstown, Airside, Estuary West and Barrysparks & Crowscastle will shape the town’s expansion over the next decade.

The plans went on public display earlier this year and hundreds of submissions were lodged by residents and interested parties.

More than 120 submissions were lodged regarding Fosterstown, most warning of urban sprawl and protesting at plans for six-storey apartment blocks and an eight-storey hotel.

Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) congratulated residents of Boroimhe whose submissions resulted in the master plan being amended, with building heights closest to the estate reduced from a maximum of five storeys to three.

He said vehicular access to lands in Boroimhe, which residents had feared would lead to it being used as a rat run and an overflow car park, were not provided in the plan.

Cllr Butler said: “Our concerns were recognised. This is a good win and as good as we could have got and is particularly applicable to Boroimhe Birches, Boroimhe Laurels, Boroimhe Pines and Boroimhe Willows.

“Fingal County Council states that it is not considered that the development as proposed will unduly impact the surrounding residents.”

Submissions lodged with the council during the public consultation phase had warned that the proposed density of buildings was “way out of kilter” with the surrounding area.

Concerns were raised over the lack of car parking spaces, the lack of open green space and the shortage of amenities, including sports pitches, local shops and playgrounds.

One objector described it as a “recipe for disaster” while another warned: “Developers are trying to cram people on top of each other. This development will be a social disaster in years to come.”

Ryanair DAC, which owns some of the Fosterstown land, asked for certain constraints to be lifted so it could proceed with building its headquarters.

Planning applications for housing developments of more than 100 residential units can bypass the council and go directly to An Bord Pleanala.

However, Cllr Butler said it was important to have the master plans adopted as a point of reference for the planning board.

He added: “I believe that the modifications that we succeeded in achieving were the best that we could achieve and we can only hope that the Bord adhere to these limits. when they approve any planning applications.”

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