‘Don’t cut down our trees just to build new homes’

by Mark O'Brien

BLAKESTOWN Road residents have expressed their concern that a new housing development will result in the destruction of hedgerows and an oak tree (right) that is believed to be more than 150 years old.

Residents are concerned that the proposed development near Lohunda will have a negative impact on the environment.

Cllr Tania Doyle told the Gazette that the campaign to save St Catherine’s Park has encouraged residents to be mindful of protecting the environment in their own community.

She said: “The St Catherine’s Park campaign has led to residents along the Blakestown Road contacting me to discuss the proposal to build a number of dwellings adjacent to Lohunda.

“Given the planned orientation of the development, it appears that a number of trees and hedgerows and, in particular, an oak tree of significant age will be laid waste to make room for the development.”

Cllr Doyle said that she believes these trees and hedgerows help to make Dublin 15 an appealing place to live and should be retained.

“When I moved to the area of Clonsilla nearly 17 years ago, my young daughter remarked one day, as we drove along the Shelerin Road, that it was like a special tunnel.

“Tall, old mature trees and hedgerow lined both sides of the road and it was like a special tunnel, she was right!

“Then, within a short number of years, half of the ‘tunnel’ was ripped out, to make way for a housing development.

“Those trees and hedgerows are gone now, never to return.”

Cllr Doyle added that while she firmly believed that there was a need for more housing, this should not come at a cost of damaging the environment.

She said: “I have called for the provision of greater volumes of housing units, but not at such a severe cost to the community and the environment.

“I am concerned that a number of current and future developments are at odds with Fingal County Council’s own biodiversity and conservation initiative.”

A spokesperson for Fingal County Council confirmed that the hedgerows would be removed in order to build a footpath for safe access to the new development.

A tree report was commissioned and it concluded that the oak tree was not suitable for retention due to its poor condition.

However, the spokesperson added: “The council is mindful of the deep concerns of the local residents in relation to the planned removal of the hedgerow and in particular the oak tree in question.

“To this end, arrangements will be made to undertake appropriate compensatory tree planting in the adjoining open space.

“It is the council’s intention that this planting work will be carried out later this year with the involvement of local residents.

“The councillors in this area will be briefed in greater detail at a forthcoming Area Committee meeting.”

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