O’DEVANEY GARDENS REGENERATION – UPDATE
Some progress has been made on advancing the regeneration of O’Devaney Gardens. Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government convened a meeting of the Chairpersons of the City Council’s Strategic Policy Committees at the beginning of September to discuss the parameters upon which the redevelopment of O’Devaney Gardens is progressed.
An agreement was reached whereby Minister Coveney committed our Fine Gael Government in funding the construction of social housing on the site, which will amount to 30% of the total redevelopment. Half of the redevelopment will be for private housing with the remaining 20% yet to be determined but an affordable rental model to be considered. A project team comprising Council officials and representatives from the Department have met in order to implement the agreement reached. As part of the final deliberations on the draft City Council Development Plan, I put forward a successful amendment, so that this agreement is given effect in the draft Plan.
Further to this, I have sought to advance plans by the City Council to consult with the community in Stoneybatter about how the redevelopment should proceed. I have written to Mr. Brendan Kenny, Deputy Chief Executive with responsibility for Housing, articulating the need for the O’Devaney Gardens Regeneration Board to be recalled. This is necessary, I believe, to initiate that consultation process, given that representatives of the tenants in O’Devaney Gardens and the surrounding community as well as the relevant stakeholders are all included on the Board. Such a consultation process must be as inclusive as possible so that all views and ideas are considered by Dublin City Council before any planning application is prepared. Should the Council not agree to this, Minister Donohoe and I will establish a local forum that will provide for a community-wide discussion as to how the redevelopment is advanced in line with the wishes of the remaining residents in O’Devaney Gardens, the surrounding area and the objectives set out in the new Dublin City Development Plan 2016 – 2022 that will come into effect from this month.
REPLACING STONEYBATTER STREET SIGNAGE
The work done in recent months by the Pride of Place group in conjunction with the City Council has been fantastic and as your local Councillor, I am eager to further build on that great work. That is why I am working to upgrade our road surfaces, enhancing the public realm, replacing damaged trees in our parks and having damaged street signage replaced. There are thirty-three separate street signs across Stoneybatter that are damaged, faded or missing which I have sought to replace. The Roads Maintenance Department of Dublin City Council is currently preparing tender documents in order to select a contractor to replace more than 200 street nameplates which are in poor condition. The thirty-three street signs I have identified have been inspected and will be included in the tender.
PARK SHOPPING CENTRE – PLANS FOR REDEVELOPMENT
Both Minister Paschal Donohoe and I attended a recent Public Information meeting organised by the owner of the Park Shopping Centre where initial details of the proposed redevelopment were disclosed. From the information provided to us, a formal application for planning permission will be submitted by the end of October. However, some details have been shared with us including:
- The plan to demolish all existing buildings on the site.
- Construction of three separate development blocks, ranging in height between five and seven storeys high.
- Purpose built student accommodation will be constructed above the ground floor retail units comprising of 568 bed spaces.
- TESCO will remain in the redevelopment as the main retail outlet.
As soon as a formal planning application is lodged and registered with Dublin City Council, myself and Minister Paschal Donohoe will provide you with a detailed update outlining the main aspects of the application and how you can view those proposals.
STONEYBATTER ROADS IMPROVEMENT WORKS 2016
Earlier this year, I worked to secure a commitment from the Roads Maintenance Division of Dublin City Council that a three year programme of road improvements would take place across Stoneybatter. Part of that commitment involved the allocation of €50,000 towards improvement works that will take place in 2016. I secured that money in this year’s Dublin Central Works Programme. I have been working with the Roads Maintenance Division in order to determine how this year’s allocation of €50,000 should be spent. After meeting with and talking to neighbours and local residents, I have been highlighting the streets where re-surfacing and other improvement works are necessary. Following this engagement, it has now been determined that the Road Maintenance Services will re-surface Sigurd Road and upgrade sections of Halliday Road, Ostman Place and Ivar Street. The re-surfacing works are likely to begin towards the end of October with a contractor being appointed by Dublin City Council by mid-October.
CITY COUNCIL PREPAREDNESS FOR HALLOWEEN
Dublin Central Area officials in Dublin City Council have been making preparations for Halloween since June. Meetings have been taking place between the Housing, Public Domain Unit and Waste Management Departments of Dublin City Council with local Gardai. Removal of bonfire materials such as tyres and pallets has been taking place throughout the summer. On-site inspections of tyre garages by the Waste Enforcement Section are continuing in order to ensure that garages are in compliance with new tyre disposal regulations introduced last year by the Government. If you notice stockpiles of bonfire materials, please report those sightings to Dublin City Council at 1800 248 348.
DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL COMMUNITY GRANTS 2017
Dublin City Council has launched its Community Grants Scheme for 2017. The purpose of the Scheme is to support community participation and involvement for the greater good. There are two different application forms available under the scheme this year. One is for a Community Grant and the other is for the separate category of Informal Adult Education. Both forms are available in Irish and can be downloaded from the Dublin City Council website at http://www.dublincity.ie. The closing date for the receipt of applications is October 28th. If you are involved in a local community group or residents’ association and have questions or queries about the Community Grants scheme, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MONTPELIER HILL PLANNING APPLICATION LODGED (3772/16)
Hattington Student Housing Ltd. has lodged an application for planning permission with Dublin City Council to develop the industrial lands between 43 and 53 Montpelier Hill. The application proposes that all existing buildings on site be demolished with the construction of three new buildings, ranging in height from three to five storeys high. A total of 329 bed spaces are to be provided with a total of 110 bicycle parking spaces throughout the proposed development. Residents have until October 27th to lodge your observations or submissions. I have organised a meeting for concerned residents with officials in the Planning Department of Dublin City Council to discuss the particulars of the application and how it may impact upon the community in Montpelier Hill and Arbour Hill.
GRANGEGORMAN S.D.Z. SCHEME – AMENDMENT TO BE PROGRESSED
The Deputy City Planner recently confirmed to me that Dublin City Council will make an application to An Bord Pleanala seeking to amend the Grangegorman S.D.Z. Planning scheme. This application will be made as the existing scheme only allows for a sixteen classroom national school to be built. However, following analysis by the Department of Education of the population change in the Dublin 7 Educate Together National School catchment area, a three stream or 24 classroom school is required. An Bord Plenala, on receipt of this application, must determine whether the amendment is a material or a non-material change. In accordance with the Planning & Development Act 2015, should An Bord Pleanala decide that this change represents a material amendment, Dublin City Council will be obliged to hold a four week public consultation process. Provision will be made for submissions or observations to be lodged, after which the Chief Executive of Dublin City Council will submit a report on those submissions to the Board. A final decision on the matter is for An Bord Pleanala to make.
PERSONAL MICRO CREDIT SCHEME TO HELP PEOPLE AVOID MONEY-LENDERS
The extension of the Personal Micro Credit Scheme by the Fine Gael Government is to be welcomed. This scheme ensures access to small loans at reasonable interest rates from the credit union, with the option for social welfare recipients who are paid by cash to repay the money through the Household Budgeting Scheme. It provides real practical help for families and individuals struggling on low incomes. Many of the participants may struggle to get credit elsewhere, and may not have a bank account or savings. So when the unexpected bill arrives for home or car repairs, a new fridge or a family occasion, some turn to legal and sometimes illegal money lenders. Since the summer, social welfare recipients who receive payment electronically into an account in a financial institution can now also avail of the scheme, provided the loan repayments are made by direct debit or by standing order. To date more than 1,200 loans have been drawn down via the pilot scheme nationally, with an overall value of over €720,000. The average individual loan is €500. Of borrowers surveyed who received loans under the pilot scheme, more than half had previously used a money-lender, and 22% were thinking about using a money-lender before they availed of the loan. This extension of the scheme fulfils the Programme for Partnership Government commitment and is supported by the Irish League of Credit Unions.
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee