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  • Northside East

Opposition to housing plan in Raheny intensifies

Monday, 29th January, 2018 8:00am
Opposition to  housing plan in Raheny intensifies

Thousands turned out for the protest. PHOTO: FRANK MALONE

Opposition to  housing plan in Raheny intensifies

Thousands turned out for the protest. PHOTO: FRANK MALONE

Shauna Bowers

OPPOSITION to a residential development proposed for the Raheny area has intensifed. 

Local residents and public representatives staged a major protest last Sunday, January 28, against a planning application to develop houses and apartments on a site adjoining St Anne’s Park. 

Crekav Trading GP is seeking permission to build 536 residential units on lands surrounding St Paul’s College on Sybil Hill Road. 

The residential units will comprise 104 three-storey houses, situated at the Main Street Avenue of St Anne’s, and 432 apartments in blocks of five and eight storeys which will look out over the park at All Saints’ Road.

Community rooms, a crèche, a gym, a cinema, wifi zone, workspace, a games room and meeting and function rooms will also be constructed in conjunction with the residential units.

Approximately 700 children involved in sports clubs in the Clontarf and Raheny areas use pitches on the land for training and matches at weekends.

The ‘I Love St Anne’s’ action group, which is opposed to the development, has expressed concern that there could be flooding on the land if residential units are built on it.  

“St Anne’s Park itself is a recognised buffer zone for Dublin City Council’s much lauded UNESCO biosphere at Bull Island,” a spokesperson for the group said.  

“An example of how this development will damage the UNESCO protected biosphere at Bull Island is the developer’s plan to run a pipe across St Anne’s carrying waste surface water from 500 units in the proposed development to the Naniken River, which flows through St Anne’s and on into the UNESCO biosphere. 

“This wastewater will travel to the protected biosphere. 

“There is also a significant flooding risk if more water is forced into the Naniken, which floods regularly and sometimes closes the coast road at Dollymount.”

The group believes there are more suitable locations to build residential units in Dublin.

“The Dublin City Development Plan shows 440 hectares of well located serviced land in the city, zoned for residential development, all ready to go,” the spokesperson added. 

“It has been suggested that this would allow for the building of up to 50,000 homes.” 

Local resident Jane O’Connor, who grew up in the area, said while she understands that housing is needed in Dublin, she doesn’t think this is the place to do it.

“I acknowledge the need for housing,” Ms O’Connor told Northside People. “We all do, but the trade-off is just way too much; it’s just incompatible.”

Clontarf Residents’ Association (CRA) said it is pleased their public representatives are standing with them in their opposition to protect this “integral demesne”.

“It is encouraging that our elected representatives are all in agreement that this development needs to be stopped,” a spokesperson for CRA said.

This is not the first time a plan for housing has been proposed for the area. 

Crekav Landbank Developments sought permission from Dublin City Council to build over 350 residential units in this same area in 2016 but withdrew the application in October of that year.

Objections against the development can be submitted to An Bord Pleanala up until 5pm on February 5.   

The planning applicant, Crekav Trading GP, did not respond to a request for comment at the time of going to press.

Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (Lab), who attended Sunday’s protest, said: “In the last two months I have hosted two public meetings on this issue and the response from the local community has been overwhelming. 

“The proposal to construct 536 housing units on this site is a perversion of what the lands were intended for, and will have a devastating effect on the environmental integrity of St Anne’s Park - a park which is the green lung of the Northside.”

He added: “The proposal is being strenuously objected to by local community groups and sports clubs and every single one of the 15 local councillors representing all shades of political colour.”


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