The heart of Donabate village. Picture: Google Maps
The heart of Donabate village. Picture: Google Maps

A community group representing residents in Donabate is demanding more investment from the council to help cope with a surge in building activity.

Supporting Proper Development in Donabate (SPDD) wants a greater share of the €13.5million development levy bonanza paid to the local authority for housing projects.

Key infrastructure at the top of the wish list includes the slipway from the peninsula to the M1 first mooted when a giant Tesco warehouse, which generates more than €1million a year in commercial rate, was built.

SPDD secretary Corina Johnson told Dublin Gazette: “The peninsula is suffering from chronic infrastructural deficits at a time when more than 1,000 housing units are under construction or have been granted planning permission.

“There is only one road access route in and out of the area, with no sign of the promised Donabate distributor road, which was supposed to start before Christmas.

“An analysis of Fingal County Council figures shows it is reaping in millions of euro in developer levies from the housing developments in Donabate.

“And the total funding from commercial rates which Fingal County Council will get for 2018 is €1.8 million for Donabate, and €42,543 for Portrane—a total of €1.9 million.”

Tesco’s distribution hub accounts for more than half (56%) of the rates collected in Donabate, yet little of the money raised is spent on the area—with just €300,000 allocated for road and footpath works in 2018.

Corina said: “This figure is despite a heavy volume of construction traffic due to housing and the construction of the €160 million National Forensic Mental Hospital in Portrane.”

Local projects

The council’s development contribution scheme 2016-2020 lists just four local projects to benefit from levies—the relief road (75% funded by central government)/Hearse Road, surface water works, Newbridge Demesne and Corballis Golf Course.

SPDD is calling for the books to be balanced more fairly.

Corina said: “The population of the peninsula is due to grow to more than 21,000 people by 2021—the current population of Athlone and Naas.

“We support sustainable development and fully recognise the current housing crisis. But the busy Portrane Road is narrow and unsuitable.

“There is one road in and out of the peninsula, the road at the bridge has not been widened, and the failure to provide a slipway to the M1 will just redistribute the traffic pinch points.”