Changes to Clonburris plans spark rage among local representatives

by Padraig Conlon

An Bord Pleanála’s approved plans for Clonburris SDZ have sparked an angry response from local representatives.

While South Dublin County Council’s plan to deliver up to 11,000 new local homes has been broadly welcomed, changes to the original draft plan have drawn criticism.

The new town, which will cover 280 hectares between Lucan, Clondalkin and Liffey Valley, has been the subject of intense discussion over the past few years.

Councillors spent many hours fiercely debating amendments to the plan last year which resulted in significant changes on issues such as building heights, public transport and existing communities.

Having got the green light from APB this week, South Dublin County Council say they are confident Clonburris will play a central role in addressing the demand for new housing in Dublin with a potential population of 21,000 living in the new community.

APB’s approval allows South Dublin County Council to grant permission for developments which cannot be appealed to the board with construction work to start two months after an application is made.

The board has however made changes to the council’s original draft plan which had been voted on by the majority of SDCC councillors.

These changes include reversing proposals to restrict heights and discarding some proposals which would have tied the development of homes to the provision of public transport.

Mayor Mark Ward has described these changes as “concerning.”

“Having read the report from An Bord Pleanala I am deeply disappointed that a number of key elements of the original draft plan have been discarded by the A.B.P,” he told Dublin Gazette.

“One of the most concerning is the increased maximum densities around the two train stations, in the urban centres of Kishoge and Clonburris”

“ABP have increased the maximum units per hectare permitted in Kishoge from 75 to 125 and from 83 to 150 units in Clonburris.

“This could see the total increase of units in the plan rise from 8,400 to 11,100.

“My concerns with this are that this will put added strain on transport routes in the area.

“It will also increase the pressure on other services in the area such as schools, employment etc.”

“In order to increase the amount of units in these two urban centres the developers have two choices, none of which are appealing to me.

“First they can increase the size of apartment blocks up to 8 stories high, which will dramatically change the landscape of the development or the developer could decrease the size of the units.

“We wanted quality not quantity in this development.

“We are in the midst of the biggest housing crisis in the history of the state and we desperately needs houses but not at any cost”

Cllr Madeleine Johansson also expressed her anger at the changes made by ABP as she accused them of not being concerned with the best interests of the local community

“It’s really disappointing to see the decision of the Board to remove many of the good amendments councillors made to the plan such as public transport provision,” she said.

“We worked closely with existing communities to achieve a plan that was sustainable and addressed the inadequate provision of public transport in the area.

“We also supported residents to make the process of opening up existing estates more democratic.

“The removal of all of these in the plan is an insult to the work that councillors and residents have done.

“Instead we have an un-elected body make decisions which will have a massive negative impact on the local community, acting in the interest of the developers and land speculators.

“We need more housing, but we need it to be built in sustainable communities with adequate infrastructure.”

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