Swords Greenbelt under threat

by Rose Barrett
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‘Save Swords Greenbelt’ is gaining momentum against a fear that a motion/s will be submitted to Fingal County Council in the coming weeks to seek the rezoning of greenbelt areas for housing in the area. 

The group quickly launched an online petition against any loss of greenbelt lands for housing – and to send a firm warning to Fingal County Council executives and elected representatives that residents do not want their communities merging into one great urban sprawl. 

Residents of Rivervalley, Ridgewood and Knocksedan united and launched an online signature appeal, along with door-to-door canvassing. By last Thursday, the group had surpassed the 1,500 signature target. 

“There is a surplus of residential zoned land in Swords already,” wrote the group online. “So a submission to further rezone green spaces makes no sense. It would also destroy a vital Greenbelt in the middle of a climate change crisis. 

“It would rely heavily on using existing and overstretched services such as schools, etc. It would merge four large estates (three existing and one new) into one concrete urban sprawl, including new roads through existing estates. As such, Rivervalley, Ridgewood and Knocksedan would cease to exist as distinct communities.” 

Cllr Ann Graves (SF) is one of five councillors opposing any such rezoning. 

Cllr Ann Graves SF

“We are not in opposition to providing housing” she said. “But there are enough lands zoned residential in the greater Swords area to meet the current and future requirements for housing.” 

“At this stage of the development plan, we’ve considered all the submissions made, now it’s up to councillors to put in motions. We know there are people lobbying in the background and there may be motions submitted by councillors seeking to rezone the greenbelt areas. 

“The Swords Greenbelt Group and the councillors who are supporting them are encouraging residents to sign the petition which will show the councillors and FCC executives the strength of feeling from people in Swords to retain the Greenbelt. 

We must protect the Greenbelt for current and future residents,” she said. 

Cllr Graves noted that when there was such national and local emphasis on climate change and the need to protect our environment, it was ludicrous to suggest rezoning the Greenbelt for housing within the fast-growing suburb of Swords. 

Other councillors vehemently supporting the Save Swords Greenbelt campaign are Joe Newman(Ind), Dean Mulligan(Ind4Change), Ian Carey (Greens) and Cllr James Humphreys (Lab).

See SaveSwordsGreenbelt.com or log onto their FB page and scan the QR code to make a submission.

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