Sunday, December 02, 2007

Traffic on Arbour Hill

Following public consultation Dublin City Council introduced traffic restrictions for Arbour Hill in August as follows:

Morning peak 7am to 10am ‘Right turn ban’ from Infirmary Road onto Montpelier Hill &
Morning peak 7am to 10am ‘left turn ban except access’ from Wolfe Tone Quay onto Temple Street West.

There was a commitment to reviewing the new restrictions after three months.
Tha review is currently being carried out.

Comments and observations on these restrictions should be sent by Friday 7th December 2007 to

Gerry Flaherty, Senior Executive Engineer – Central Area & Road Safety Road and Trafic Department, Dublin City Council Block 2 Floor 5 Civic Offices Wood Quay Dublin 8
Fax 2222760

We would appreciate it if you could copy us with your observations

Emer & Joe

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mater Hospital Developments

In 2003 Mater Hospital received permission for new adult hospital and new children’s hospital. As a result of the Government decision to locate the National Children’s Hospital on the Mater site. which will now have to be the subject of a separate planning application, it was necessary to apply for a new permission for the adult hospital only. In September 2007, the Mater Hospital applied for planning permission to decouple the Children’s Hospital from the Adult Hospital site.
The main differences between the current application and the previous permissions are as follows:
  • The omission of the Children’s Hospitaland the new entrance at Eccles Street
  • The link building between the adult hospital and the children’s hospital
  • The omission of Pathology and Technical Services building on the North Circular Road
  • A reduction in the basement car-park from 800 places to 306 places
  • An extra one and a half storeys to be added to the adult hospital on the North Circular Road side, to provide for a new ward and a plant room
  • Two additional floors to the lift core.
  • The basement areas expanded for technical support and services
  • The deletion of the proposed helipad in the original application

I organised a Planning Information Meeting for local residents who have had ongoing concerns in relations to developments at this site. Following the meeting we made a submission highlighting the following issues
  • The need for consultation with Community Groups
  • The need to update the EIS to include the construction methodology
  • The proposal did not take adequate account of Metro North and the location of the Mater station on the site
  • Car-parking ins insufficient for the size of the hospital leading to on-street car-parking and carparking during the construction phase needs to be managed.
  • It was unclear if the proposed helipad was incldued in the application and if so, clarification should be provided on the location, flight paths and usge etc

Consultation with MHCDFollowing the submissions from residents and ourselves as public representatives the Mater Hospital Campus Development contacted local residents associations and arranged a meeting. Cllr Emer Costello attended the meeting which provided clarification on a number of the above issues and a commitment was given for ongoing community consulation.

Planning Permisson Granted
Dublin City Council granted permission subject to a number of conditions which took some of the residents concerns into consideration including:
  1. The applicant shall undertake to implement the measures outlined in the Mobility Management Plan submitted under Planning Reference 4929/03 and to ensure that the proposed development take cognisance of this plan. A Mobility Manager shall be appointed to oversee and co-ordinate the implementation of the plan. An independent consultant shall be appointed to monitor and review the plan at intervals to be agreed with Dublin City Council. Reason: It is the policy of Dublin City Council to encourage modal change from private car use towards increased use of public transport, cycling, walking, and by encouraging tele-working.
  2. The site development works and construction works shall be carried out in such a manner as to ensure that the adjoining street(s) are kept clear of debris, soil and other material and if the need arises for cleaning works to be carried out on the adjoining public roads, the said cleaning works shall be carried out at the developers expense Reason: To ensure that the adjoining roadways are kept in a clean and safe condition during construction works in the interests of orderly development.
  3. Prior to the commencement of Development, a Project Construction and Demolition Waste Management Plan shall be submitted to and agreed to writing by the Planning Authority. Reason: In the interests of the protection and conservation of the environment, having regard to Circular WPR 07/06 - Best Practice Guidelines on the Preparation of Waste Management Plans for Construction and Demolition Projects - published by the DoEHLG, July 2006 and also Dublin City Council Waste Management Guidelines
  4. The applicant shall liaise with the RPA ( Rail Procurement Agency) regarding the construction of Metre North prior to commencement of development with respect to issues pertaining to construction and phasing of development. Reason: In the interests of proper planning and Sustainable development of the area.

Although Dublin City Council did not impose a condition in relation to a Community Liaison Committee the planner’s report recommends such a structure stating: “It would seem reasonable in the interests of good relationships with neighbours for the hospital to establish some form of voluntary forum to make residents aware of schedules of work.”

To this end Cllr Emer Costello tabled the following motion at the November Area Committee which was agreed unanimously:

To ask the Manager to facilitate the establishment of a community liaison forum with the Mater Hospital/HSE, Dublin City Council and local residents in view of the massive development that will be taking place on the site over the coming years. Residents are concerned that when they have issues with development work they have no forum through which to have these addressed).


The Area Office will establish contact with The Project Management Team overseeing the redevelopment of the Mater Site to request that they initiate community consultation, if the members agree the motion. As mentioned above MHCD have indicated their willingness to consult with local residents and it is hoped that such a forum will be established shortly.

Links with Mountjoy Prison Site

Finally, Joe Costello TD put down the following Parliamentary Question to the Tanaisteand Minister for Finance:

To ask the Tanaiste and Minister for Finance if he will transfer the lands at Mountjoy Prison to the Mater Hospital when the prison closes in order that the hospital can acquire much needed space for development; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister of State at the Department of Finance(Deputy Noel Ahern):

The Commissioners of Public Works have appointed a multi-disciplinaryDesign Team, in order to seek full Planning Permission for the re-development of the MountjoyPrison site. On foot of preliminary consultations with the Health Service Executive, the Commissioner’s Design Team is currently exploring possible options for accommodating some non-core activities of the Mater Hospital on the Mountjoy Prison site. Back to List

Tree Pruning and Public Lighting: NCR, Rathdown Road & Kirwan St

Q39 Councillor Emer Costello November 2007
To ask the Manager when the tree pruning at the rest of the NCR will be completed and if tree pruning will take place at Rathdown Road as it is and to include the upgrading of the lighting on Rathdown Road and Kirwan Street there in the 2008 estimates.

Tree pruning on the North Circular Road is continuing on an ongoing basis.
However work is slow due to;
· The nature of the work
· The location of trees on this very busy road
· Work time restrictions incurred due to Traffic Management requirements
The Parks and Landscape Services Division is fully committed to have the work completed as soon as possible in the interest of all concerned.
This Division shall arrange to clear the public lighting standard outside as part of the current tree pruning programme of works.
The lighting on Rathdown Road was upgraded in 2001 and at present is considered to be at an acceptable standard. It is due to undergo lamp changing and lantern cleaning before the end of 2007 and a request has been sent to Parks Department to prune the trees which appear to be impacting some of the lights. We have no plans at present to carry out any further improvements to the lighting here.

Kirwan Street Lighting
With regard to this street, decorative lanterns with 70watt lamps were installed in 2005 as part of that years improvements. The lighting is due to be bulk changed next year and again the lighting is considered adequate.

Skip in a Bag Update - Bulky Household Waste Collection

Dublin City Council’s “skip in a bag” was piloted successfully in the North Central and South East Areas. As a result of the positive feedback from this scheme the service will be available in all areas from 1/1/08.

This service will not interfere with the free household junk collection.

Click here for information leaflet on this scheme

Update on Litter Wardens and Litter Fines in Central Area

Motion in name of Cllr Emer Costello
That the Manager report on the number of litter wardens currently employed in the central area, the number of litter fines that were issued since January, the number of fines that have been paid and the number of prosecutions and what steps he is taking to combat illegal dumping and littering in the Central Area.

There are 3 Litter Wardens assigned directly to the Central Area and 5 Litter Wardens assigned to Waste Management currently operating in the area. At present Dublin City Council are in the process of appointing a further 5 Litter Wardens.

From 01/01/2007 to 30/09/2007, 2497 Litter Fines were issued in the Central Area. The amount of fines paid totalled 875. Prosecutions taken were 124 with 23 convictions. Covert CCTV cameras are in use in the Central Area to combat dumping. Multi lingual leaflets have been distributed to a large amount of homes in the area informing residents of their responsibilities regarding disposal of household waste.

Currently the Environmental Liaison Officer and the Litter Wardens are calling to businesses in the area distributing leaflets reminding owners of their responsibilities regarding the cleaning of shopfront areas and disposal of commercial waste. The Environmental Response Unit in the area is removing any dumped material from roadways, laneways and green spaces in the area. The response unit removes an average 64 tonnes of material every month.

DCC Progress on Plans to Relocate Smithfield Horsefair

Councillor Emer Costello November 2007
To ask the manager report on what progress has been made to move the horsefair from Smithfield Plaza, if he will ensure that the Square is washed down fully after the horsefair and if he will ensure that all of the streets in the vicinity are cleaned and swept on the day of the horsefair


It is our legal advice that we would not be successful were we to seek a court order by way of injunction or otherwise to temporarily discontinue or suspend the Horse Fair @ Smithfield until an alternative site is available. This is because we cannot extinguish the "market right" at Smithfield under the particular legislation unless we find alternative facilities which are reasonably proximate to those already there. Similarly there is no scope at this time to close it under Health & Safety Regulations.
Dublin City Council is actively pursuing an alternative location in the North West Area of the City and we are making good progress on this. The difficulty with this is any new site will have to be compliant with Health & Safety Regulations, Department of Agriculture Regulations and Traffic Management issues. In other words this will not happen overnight.
Dublin City Council is not involved in the management of the Horse Fair from an event management perspective, as we believe it is impossible within the meaning of event management planning to regulate the Fair at its current location. It is not clear to us exactly who “runs” it.
However in order to assist the DSPCA in the good work it does at the fair we gave them a grant of €7000 this year. In conclusion we have put in place a process to vastly improve the street cleaning following any Horse Fairs and we hope that this will improve the overall situation in the area.

Relocation of Grangegorman Recycling Centre

Motion in the name of Councillor Emer Costello November 2007
To ask the manager to outline the plans for the waste depot and recycling centre at Grangegorman, and to report on the reasons for the delay in moving the centre and to outline the timescale for moving and what arrangements will be made for recycling when the centre moves to Slaney Road.

Plans are progressing to relocate the Waste Management Services Depot as part of the Grangegorman redevelopment. The exchange of lands is expected to take place in early 2008 with the move being completed by late 2008. In the meantime the recycling facilities on site will be upgraded to provide a better service to the public. It is also intended that recycling facilities will be provided in Slaney Road. Back to List

Street Cleaning Smithfield/Stoneybatter/Manor St/Oxmantown

Question to City Manager Central Area Committee
Meeting 09/10/07

Q24 Councillor Emer Costello
To ask the Manager to take steps to improve street cleaning at : Smithfield/Stoneybatter/Manor Street/Oxmantown Area & litter bin on St Joseph’s Road, to state if the new street cleaners have been allocated to this route, to state how often the bins in the area are emptied, to state the policy in relation to lifting untagged bags, to state how many fines for issued for illegal dumping/litter in the area since January, how many of these have been paid and how many have been prosecuted, to state what action has been taken in relation to dog dirt in the area and if the leaflets outlining the responsibilities of dog owners have been circulated as agreed in a previous question, to date and to state when the litter bin will be provided at (details supplied)

Waste Management Services have the Smithfield/Stoneybatter/Manor St/Oxmantown areas scheduled to be cleaned on a daily basis. The litter bins in these areas are emptied two or three times a day on a daily basis. Any untagged bags in these areas are removed on a regular basis and examined for evidence. A litter fine is issued to anyone found to be dumping these bags.

Dog dirt is removed during the course of our cleaning schedules in these areas. There are no plans to provide a litter bin into the residential area of St. Joseph’s Road. In fact we had to remove litter bins from residential areas as people were stuffing domestic refuse into these bins and dumping rubbish at them. They had in fact become a focal point for dumping.

North King Street, Stoneybatter Manor Street & Oxmanstown Road are on the route of the new area street cleaners. Smithfield Plaza is cleaned by the Waste Management Section the lowest end of Smithfield after the Luas Stop is cleaned regularly by Public Domain Staff.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cole's Lane Traders Defend Their Right to Trade on Established pitches

Over the past few months Joe and I have been involved is helping the street traders defend their right to trade from their pitches on Cole's Lane.
The street traders on Cole’s Lane fought hard to get their pitch on this site over twenty years ago. Indeed Joe went to prison when he participated in street protests to defend the rights of the traders during the 1980s. Following the protests the traders were allocated their pitches on Cole’s Lane.
Dublin City Council recently granted planning permission to Dunnes Stores to extend the opening of their door which leads on to Cole’s Lane. They did this without any consultation with the traders outside, who have pitches assigned and licensed by Dublin City Council on Cole’s Lane. This shows a complete lack of joined up thinking within Dublin City Council as indeed the Planning Section did not consult with the Casual Trading Section within Dubln City Council despite the fact that Cole's Lane is a designated Casual Trading Area.
The traders pay the Council for their pitch and casual trading license. Dublin City Council have informed the traders that they will have to move from their current pitches. They plan to have the same number of stalls in a much smaller and more confined space to make way for the new entrance at Dunnes Stores. The traders are struggling in all weathers to eke a living from their stalls. Dublin City Council and Dunnes Stores should have consulted with the traders prior to granting planning permission and building the new entrance on to Cole’s Lane.
The situation came to a head this week on Cole's Lane as Dunnes Stores planned to open on Thursday 12th July. On Monday 10th July, Dublin City Council painted new pitch markings after the traders had finished trading for theday. On Tuesday evening the traders protested outside Dunnes Stores during a pre-opening reception attended by Margaret Heffernan. I joined the traders on their protest for the evening. They are very upset that their livlihoods are being threatened in this way through no fault of their own.
I organised a meeting between the City Council and the traders on Wednesday afternoon and a number of possible solutions were suggested including finding suitable alternative pitches for some of the traders and regenerating the street market.
Today, Thursday 12th Dunnes Stores opened and the traders took up their original designated pitches. They are refusing to move until and unless Dublin City Council provide alternative suitable pitches. The position of the stalls looked satisfactory to me but the Fire Chief has yet to give his ruling on that.
In the meantime I have arranged for the traders to come to the next meeting of the Area Comnmittee to discuss the conditions they are working in. Cole's Lane has the potential to be a bright cheerful market where street traders and large department stores could work side by side to each others mutual advantage. All European cities have modern street markets. Cole's Lane is badly in need of a revamp which would put it on a par with any of the quality markets in Europe.
Dublin City Council have also said that they have learned many lessons from this experience and promise that they will take this on board when the redevelopment of Moore Street takes place.