Locals raise concerns over Dundrum village redevelopment

by Rebecca Ryan
Sketch of Imagine Dundrum's proposed alternative plans for Dundrum village

There are concerns that redevelopment plans for Dundrum Main Street will cause the village to lose its character.

Imagine Dundrum is a voluntary group of local residents concerned about Dundrum’s future. They have been working together since early 2016 to influence the redevelopment of Dundrum Village.

The group’s vision is that any new development should bring together the old and the new in a way that keeps the sense of Dundrum as an urban village community.

In support of this objective, Imagine Dundrum has made a submission to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council for the main street to be designated as an Architectural Conservation Area.

One of the groups members, Eamon Regan, has also prepared alternative designs for the old shopping centre. They have shared their plans with the developer, UK property giant Hammerson, who have acquired most of the properties on the western side of the Main Street, including the old Dundrum Shopping Centre.

Dundrum native, local resident and Green Party Local Area Representative Deirdre Ni Fhloinn told Dublin Gazette: “We don’t know yet what is proposed for the old shopping centre, but if it is a similar scale to the first design, it will radically change Dundrum village.”

She said that locals are worried that the village will lose its character.

“There is certainly a concern locally about the amount of housing available, and I think a well proportioned and sympathetic development incorporating housing, that encouraged people to live in the village, would be welcomed.

“I think there is a sense that Dundrum village will be overwhelmed if the old shopping centre site becomes another very large retail and commercial development, and that it will lose its character if future development does not incorporate existing buildings and the existing shape of the village.”

Deirdre Ní Fhloinn Dundrum village

Deirdre Ní Fhloinn

The local rep said she would like to see the area developed into a social hub for the community.

“Dundrum is in a great location, only a few miles from town and surrounded by vibrant residential communities.

“I’d like to see it develop into a social hub for community activities, shopping and everyday life for people in the area.

“Elderly people coming out of daily Mass could meet friends and family if there was a village cafe; the old Post Office could be a centre for local history.

“The Imagine Dundrum plans for the old shopping centre would be a really sympathetic scheme combining a library, retail units and housing and retaining the village feel of Dundrum.”

She is also concerned that, in the meantime, the properties set for re-development are lying derelict and gathering “disgraceful amounts of rubbish which harms the amenity of the whole village”.

“One side of the village has a number of thriving businesses and well-kept buildings, from Bank of Ireland up to the junction at Holy Cross Church.

“The other side has buildings lying empty with rubbish and debris in front gardens of lovely period houses, and the old Post Office building lying empty with windows broken.

“It doesn’t encourage people to congregate or spend time in the village, which I think has a negative impact.”

Imagine Dundrum is launching a historical book on Main Street Dundrum on March 6 at 8pm.

Main Street, A History of the Heart of Dundrum by John Lennon will officially be launched by Minister Josepha Madigan at the Holy Cross Parish Centre, Main Street, Dundrum.

At the event will also be a “model” for Dundrum designed by masters students from the UCD School of Architecture in Clonskeagh.

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