Master plans for Castlelands draw a string of objections

by Sylvia Pownall

A draft master plan drawn up by FCC proposes building 1,000 housing units in blocks of up to six storeys in height on 60 acres of land.

Submissions, to date, outline residents’ concerns over the density, scale and height of the housing element and the impact this will have on traffic along Hamilton Road.

One warns: “I think it’s horrendous that not only do you wish to build 1,000 new units but you want to build six-storey buildings. It is absolutely outrageous.”

Referring to the €20 million rejuvenation programme, the objector adds: “It’s no use giving money to improve the town and then destroying it at the other end.”

Another resident cautions against building “a virtual desert of concrete” while a third says the proposed density of up to 20 units per acre should be reserved for city centres where adequate public transport links exist.

In a fresh approach to the infrastructural framework, FCC is proposing that social and community facilities be provided in advance of housing.

According to the local authority this would mean the early delivery of a primary school site and recreational facilities including a swimming pool, as well as a bridge over the railway line as part of a link road to the Skerries Road.

One objector laments: “Once again Balbriggan has been chosen for a massive development with no concern to how this affects the character of the town.”

Another warns that the welfare and safety of schoolchildren will be put at risk as a result of increased traffic in an already congested area.

A third notes that there is a danger that the development could become “a social housing dumping ground” resulting in Balbriggan becoming a “ghetto”.

A drop-in information evening will take place in Castlelands Community Centre, Balbriggan on Tuesday, May 21 from 4pm to 8pm.

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