Concern at lack of social housing for Clonburris

by Sylvia Pownall

CONCERNS are mounting over the mix of housing to be provided at a new suburb of more than 8,000 homes at Clonburris between Clondalkin and Lucan.

Plans for the Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) of 280 hectares off the Fonthill Road are due to be published by South Dublin County Council within days.

But public representatives are uneasy about comments from planners that the bulk of the SDZ land owned by the council – 98 hectares – will be used for parkland.

People Before Profit Cllr Madeleine Johansson warned it was “code for no social housing”.

Cllr William Lavelle (FG) said the development should be put on hold until Adamstown is completed and traffic issues in the area are addressed.

He told The Gazette: “My concern is that we’re getting ahead of ourselves now. I don’t think we can sustain it.”

Lucan-based Cllr Lavelle warned that worries over traffic congestion could lead councillors to vote down the project.

He said: “Proposing Clonburris (before Adamstown is finished) means another 8,000 houses which will have a far more significant impact on traffic in places which are very congested, like Griffen Avenue Outer Ring Road and Fonthill Road.”

In total 24,000 houses will be provided along the railway line at Adamstown (which is only 15 per cent completed) and Clonburris using ‘fast track’ planning.

Once zoning is passed – which needs councillors’ support – any planning permission granted for developments cannot be appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

SDCC director of planning Eddie Taaffe said the land could generate more than 500 homes a year over the next 15 years providing a steady stream of housing.

He added: “We’re looking at just over 8,000 homes, which translates as 22,000-24,000 people. It’s the size of Wexford town, effectively a new Wexford town bolted on to Lucan and Clondalkin.”

The plan was first mooted almost a decade ago along with the Metro West rail line but the then proposal for a high density ‘eco-district’ of up to 15,000 apartments was shelved in 2011.

It is welcomed to ease the housing crisis however alarm bells are now ringing because the council, which owns 35 per cent of the land, says a “big chunk” of that 98 hectares will be green space.

PBP Deputy Gino Kenny said: “The comments regarding the public land being used mainly for parkland is very disappointing. Effectively, this means there will be very few social and affordable housing units in Clonburris.

“This is one of the few remaining pieces of land in public ownership in the Dublin mid-west area, which should be used for housing for the many thousands who are in desperate need.”

Cllr Francis Timmons (Ind) urged people to have their say and make submissions once the plan is published. He added: “I do have concerns over traffic congestion and community facilities but with 8,300 on the SDCC housing list and 462 on the homeless list the needs in this area are great and many.”

Labour spokesperson Joanna Tuffy called for a national affordable housing scheme to be established for Clonburris.

Meanwhile Sinn Fein Cllrs Mark Ward and Danny O’Brien both called on the council to get the plan right given the development’s importance to Clondalkin and Lucan.

Cllr Ward said: “We need to get this right. Public consultation is key. It is imperative that councillors argue for the best possible deal for the people we represent.”

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