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  • Northside East

Fairview trees are saved from being felled

Tuesday, 5th September, 2017 8:00am
Fairview trees are saved from  being felled

Sam McCarthy and Aoife Kelly beside some of the trees along Fairview. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

Fairview trees are saved from  being felled

Sam McCarthy and Aoife Kelly beside some of the trees along Fairview. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

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NORTHSIDE residents were celebrating last week after a major campaign to save trees in one of the city’s top parks proved successful. 

The ‘Save Fairview Trees’ campaign drew support from over 15,000 people who signed online and local petitions after Dublin City Council announced the trees were for the chop to facilitate the ‘Clontarf to City Centre Cycle Scheme’.  

Residents from Fairview, Marino, Clontarf, Ballybough and North Strand, along with local businesses, local politicians and cycling lobby groups, supported the campaign.  

Those involved in the campaign have expressed delight after the city council confirmed it is now proposing an amendment to the route proposal. 

The amendment includes the retention of over 90 per cent of the trees that the city council originally proposed to remove under its proposal.  

A spokesman for Dublin City Council said that following the consultation process on the scheme, the project proposals have been revised to allow for retention of the majority of trees along the roadside at Fairview Park.

“This revised proposal is a response from the city council to the concerns raised during the statutory consultation period about the removal of these trees and their significance,” he told Northside People. 

“In the original proposals the scheme was developed to retain existing traffic capacity and footpath widths through Fairview and so the space needed for the scheme could only be found by the removal of the roadside trees.

“This has now been revised such that the necessary width for the scheme will be found by removal of a inbound traffic lane over a 350-metre length from the junction of Malahide Road/ Fairview to south of Fairview footbridge. 

“These amendments have now been made in order to avoid as much as possible the removal of mature kerbside trees. 

“The concerns raised from the public consultation process and the resulting final proposals that will be submitted for council approval have been discussed and agreed with the National Transport Authority.”

The spokesman said the changes will result in some reduction in traffic capacity in the inbound direction.

“However, this will facilitate retention of 42 of the 46 roadside trees,” he added.  

“The number of traffic lanes from south of Fairview Footbridge will remain the same as present.”

Marino resident Edel Leahy, instigator of the online petition, said she is delighted that their sole objective of saving the Fairview trees has been achieved. 

“The residents of the local area and wider public who supported our campaign deserve great credit,” said Ms Leahy. 

“It shows that ‘people power’ can work when a serious wrong is being proposed. 

“We also wish to thank the media who did so much to highlight our campaign.”

Ballybough-based councillor Nial Ring (Ind) said: "Dublin City Council has listened to the people and realised that no local councillor was going to support the destruction of such historically significant trees. 

"The officials have now to go back to the drawing board and present a plan that will be accepted by all interest groups. 

“The safety of cyclists, the retention of the facilities in Fairview Park for the local community and ensuring that whatever plan is agreed will not impact on local businesses must be the criteria for any new Part 8 proposal.” 

Cllr Damian O'Farrell (Ind) said: “Saving of the trees is most welcome and now we must examine the new proposal in its entirety to ensure that the best solution for everyone is achieved. 

"I would like to thank Edel (Leahy) and Donna (Cooney) for their tremendous work in getting the campaign up and running and proving that people will stand up for what is right for our community and the environment.” 

Local businessman Damian Duggan of Duggan's Jewellers said: "Local businesses immediately came out against the destruction of the trees and the fact that Dublin City Council has backtracked on this is most welcome.

"The new plan must also make sure that local businesses are not negatively affected by the removal of parking spaces and we will welcome the opportunity to have input on the new proposal.” 

Local Green Party representative Donna Cooney, who first flagged the tree removal proposal six months ago and who highlighted the issue at every opportunity since, said the decision is most welcome.  

“Now we can move forward in a constructive way and Fairview Park and its trees can continue to be appreciated by the local and broader communities."

 

Cllr Christy Burke (Ind), Donna Cooney, Edel Leahy and Cllr Nial Ring (Ind) with children Sam McCarthy, Aoife Kelly, Karen Kelly and Jane Kelly beside some of the trees in Fairview that have been saved. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

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