Illegal dump in Darndale
Dublin City Council officials intend to bring plans for a 2.5-metre reinforced concrete wall in Belcamp Park in Moatview before councillors at their next monthly meeting for final approval.
It’s the next step in the council’s long-promised move to clear a giant illegal dump that sits on council land in the neighbourhood. Locals have pushed and petitioned for years for the dump to be cleared, but said they were ignored.
Council officials have said they needed to make sure that the commercial-scale illegal dumping wouldn’t start up again if they cleared it, and so a wall is needed.
The proposed new wall is 120 metres long and the council has budgeted around €8 million for the works, most of which will be spent on waste removal, said Marie Gavin, senior executive engineer with Dublin City Council.
“It’s going to be a transformative one for the area, which will allow the green space to be returned to the local community,” said Gavin, at a recent meeting of local councillors for the North Central Area.
Gavin said the plans for the wall were worked out in consultation with local residents and had gone out to public consultation on 9 August. The council received one submission in support of the plans, she said.
The works include landscaping and a new footpath, and will go before the full council on 6 November for approval.
Independent Councillor John Lyons welcomed the timeline that the council hopes to be on site by April 2024. “It’s good to see it moving along and the provisional date of April is positive,” he said.
The design looks good too, said Lyons. “I know we had initial misgivings about a wall but this does have to be addressed and I think this will do that.”
“I think it’s very positive that this is happening,” said Fianna Fáil Councillor Racheal Batten.
But she wondered if the council could be sure the wall would stop the dumping, she said. “What provisions are being made to ensure that this isn’t going to be intruded again?”
Gavin said the council will look at whether the area needs better public lighting and it is considering installing CCTV. “We are spending an awful lot of money on this project and it is the intention that we secure the site.”
Said Labour Councillor Alison Gilliland: “I think it’s a huge boost to the community that we have got this far.”
Green Party Councillor Donna Cooney wondered if the council could do something to animate the wall, possibly a play feature for children.
“It could be vertical gardens as well but just something playful rather than your bland walls and I think that could help prevent graffiti,” she said.
Dublin City Council is nearly through the process of drawing up a masterplan for the Jamestown Business Park, which is intended to smooth the way for thousands of new homes to be built in Finglas in an orderly way.
The Jamestown Masterplan envisages around 3,500 new homes, a primary school, business premises, community and cultural spaces, a park and a plaza to replace a business park in Finglas, just a few minutes walk from the village.
Fiona Cooper, a senior executive planner with Dublin City Council, asked councillors on the North West Area Committee to note the latest draft of the plan.
Since it was agreed by the full council in July, said Cooper, there have been environmental screenings and other changes.
“The plan is made. It stands, it is there,” said Cooper. “It is now our main decision-making plan for the Jamestown Lands.”
Now the agreed masterplan needs to be added to the city development plan as an appendix, “so there is no room for anyone to question it”, said Cooper.
The proposed variation to the city development plan will be noted by the full council at the next meeting on 6 November, she said. The city development plan including the masterplan as an appendix will then go on public display from 7 November to 5 December for people to weigh in.
Based on that feedback, the chief executive will write another report and the final version will come back to the full council again in February, she said.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Keith Connolly asked whether those who want to develop lands within the area governed by the masterplan are obliged to stick to the heights laid out in it.
Cooper said developers will have to stick to the maximum heights in the plan because the heights laid out are site-specific and planners will refer to them. “What is in the master plan is our decision-making tool,” she said.
A good site for homes?
Independent Councillor John Lyons asked whether a site in Coolock where the Land Development Agency (LDA) plans to build 146 affordable homes is suitable for homes.
Speaking at the meeting of the North Central Area Committee, Lyons said the site, which is opposite the Northside Shopping Centre, is not suitable at the proposed height and density and because it is surrounded by three busy roads.
“I think it’s ill-conceived to develop that site for residential purposes and I’m against it,” he said. Instead, the site should be developed for a playground and a skatepark, said Lyons.
Councillors have been pushing the council to build a playground for children in Kilmore. One location put forward recently isn’t appropriate, he said.
By phone on Tuesday, Lyons said that years ago he proposed that the Cromcastle site should be developed for a skatepark and playground.
The site isn’t big enough to take the volume of homes the LDA is proposing, he said, and it will lead to a lack of privacy and insufficient amenity space. “That site is tiny, it really is,” he said.
He is also concerned about the height of the proposed development, which rises to eight storeys, he said.
The site is also on the intersection, near three busy roads: Oscar Traynor Road, Kilmore Road and Cromcastle Road. So, if built, the homes would require triple glazing, said Lyons because of the traffic noise.
New Rutland Street community hub
A long-promised new community centre on Rutland Street appears finally to be on the way.
The project involves revamping the Rutland Street School in the north-east inner-city, which was built between 1910 and 1912.
“I am delighted to inform you that a contract has been signed with a construction company to turn the former school into the new community hub/civic centre,” Dublin City Council director of services Karl Mitchell wrote in a 13 October email to councillors for the Central Area.
“The contractor will take over the site from Monday 16th October 2023,” Mitchell wrote. “A formal sod turning will take place over the next couple of weeks with a celebratory event to follow.”
Councillors also got a flyer with more information about the plan. The council expects the construction works to last about 20 months, it says.
“The refurbishment and renovation will create a vibrant multi-use community hub in this landmark building, which will provide a large range of services and facilities for the surrounding area,” it says.
The plan includes “facilities for community groups, a café and community hall, a crèche, a radio station, Dublin City Council offices and enterprise incubation hubs”, it says.
“The area to the rear is also to be extensively redeveloped to provide new space for a community garden, a café terrace and extensive landscaped areas for the building users,” the flyer says.