Plan for village stokes worries

by Gazette Reporter

SEVERAL councillors, as well as residents in St Vincent’s Park, are concerned that St Teresa’s and Dunardagh lands owned by the Daughters of Charity in Blackrock will be used for high-rise development if the latest version of the Blackrock Draft Local Area Plan (LAP) is adopted.
The previous Blackrock draft LAP was abandoned last September as some emailed public submissions from the public consultation had not been considered by council planners.
The current draft of the Blackrock LAP, which went on public display this week, states: “The St Teresa’s and Dunardagh lands are considered suitable for higher residential densities.”
Building height limits on lands associated with St Teresa’s would be four storeys, and in some cases, five storeys.
Denise O’Neill, who is part of St Vincent’s Park Residents’ Association, said: “We have absolutely no objection to development, but it has to be sustainable and managed and any development has to fit in with the ethos of the area and the recommendations of the [recent] ESRI report [The Projected Population Change and Housing Demand: A County Level Analysis], which cries out for family homes, not more apartment blocks [which are] high-density and high-rise.
“Development has to be in keeping with the character of the area in question, unlike the recent large and expensive faux pas on Dun Laoghaire seafront [the new Lexicon Library] which all agree is not in keeping with its surroundings.”
Cllr Victor Boyhan (Ind) said: “Council planners will have to consider all submissions made by the public regarding any development proposals made for the substantial land bank surrounding Dunardagh in Blackrock.
“Residents in St Vincent’s Park have made it clear that they will oppose any high-rise development overshadowing their single-storey homes.
“There is a suggestion that once the Dunardagh convent lands are rezoned, the Daughters of Charity will put the lands on the open market. These lands will yield millions of euro for the order,” he said.
Referring to the lands, which comprise 8.75 hectares, Blackrock resident and An Cathaoirleach Marie Baker (FG) said: “The lands in Dunardagh constitute the last remaining area that can be developed for residential development, in my view, and will be [developed] in the next five, 10 or 15 years [which] will be good for Blackrock.”
She went on to say that by including the suggestion of high-rise buildings for the Dunardagh lands in the new Blackrock LAP, “the same objections will arise [as did to the last plan], and rightly so”.
The new plan is now available for people to view at County Hall, Dun Laoghaire, from 9am until 5pm and at Blackrock Library during opening hours. They can also be viewed or downloaded from the council’s website at www.dlrcoco.ie.
Public information sessions on the LAP will be held at Blackrock Library on September 18, September 23 and 24.
Submissions can be made in writing to the Senior Executive Officer, Planning Department, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire, or by emailing blackrock2lap@dlrcoco.ie before October 15.

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