Locals have welcomed the announcement that work will start on a Local Area Plan (LAP) for Dundrum.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown-County Council’s chief executive, Philomena Poole, made the announcement at Monday’s council meeting that preliminary research and preparatory work will start on the LAP in the second half of 2018.
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan told Dublin Gazette she has been calling for this since 2016, and that it is great news for the area.
She said: “Effective, strategic planning from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown is essential to ensure that the continued growth and development of Dundrum is harnessed to best meet the needs of its people.
“A LAP Plan will be vital with the expected redevelopment of Dundrum village in the coming years.”
Minister Madigan reiterated her call for a new civic space in Dundrum. She said: “Having seen many other towns across Ireland and Europe, I believe that Dundrum needs a dedicated civic space.
“This would be a major, active community centre with usable space to serve the needs of all the community – mother and toddler mornings; wellness workshops; social media workshops; art classes for all age groups and anything else to meet the needs and wants of Dundrum as a community could be hosted in such a space.
“I call on Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown [county Council] to place the community of Dundrum at the heart of the forthcoming local area plan and to include provision for the development of a new, dedicated civic space.”
However, reacting to the call, dlr Mill Theatre manager Kate Canning, told Dublin Gazette she believes that the area already has a civic space.
She said: “To us, a ‘civic space’ is an extension of the community. A setting where celebrations are held, where social and economic exchanges take place, where friends run into each other, and where cultures mix. In that, we are 100% a relevant civic space.
“In 2017 alone, we welcomed 45,000 patrons to the venue, many of whom came to one of the 54 performances presented by the local drama groups.
“There are several active programmes hosted in the venue during the week, including a youth theatre and a +65 public art project.
“Our spaces are used as resources for a wide range of groups throughout our community.”
She added, however, that she would not oppose another community space.
“We would, of course, welcome another worthwhile resource for the community. The community of Dundrum and beyond is bursting with life, creativity and a desire for engagement.
“In the current sociological climate, cementing a strong community is essential to everyone’s wellbeing, so therefore any venue or building which supports this is of huge significance.”
Chairperson of the community group, Anne Colgan told Dublin Gazette: “The LAP will be a huge benefit in ensuring that there is balanced development.”
She added the LAP would help to ensure: “a people-friendly and accessible environment, and will ensure that the future Dundrum is thriving, attractive and welcoming, and [provide] a proper planning framework for private development”.
The Independent councillor also highlighted the need for local people to contribute to the LAP.
“The council will offer important opportunities for local input into the plan, and we urge residents to make maximum use of those opportunities when they arise, so that the community can help shape the future of the village.”