Thursday, August 07, 2008

Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Emer Costello Calls for Immediate Government Action to address O’Devaney Gardens Housing Crisis

The Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Emer Costello, said that despair and anti-social behaviour should not be allowed to fill the vacuum left by the recent collapse of regeneration projects. Cllr Costello is a member of the O'Devaney Gardens Regeneration Board.

"I am extremely concerned to hear of the trouble in O’Devaney Gardens last night. Residents reported to me that they were petrified during the night as anti-social behaviour escalated.
Since the collapse of the regeneration projects, I have been calling for the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Housing to give a commitment that the Government will provide a rescue package to build the much needed social housing and community infrastructure.

I am now repeating that call and asking for Govenment to give a commitment to the residents of O’Devaney Gardens that the long-promised social housing and community regeneration will be provided without delay.

Following last night’s incidents residents from O’Devaney were queueing up in Dublin City Council’s offices today seeking alternative accommodation from Dublin City Council. It is tragic that the plans and hope for a new community have been replaced with such feelings of despair despondency.

Even before the collapse of the regeneration development, residents had reported flashpoints in parts of the complex and requested assistance from Dublin City Council and the Gardaí in dealing with the matter before it got out of hand.

While I welcome Dublin City Council’s statement that they will be installing more CCTV cameras in the area to deal with the matter, I am particularly mindful of the fact that Dublin City Council recently responded to a question from me on CCTV by stating that "it is doubtful that CCTV would be of any benefit in improving anti-social behaviour".

I am calling on Dublin City Council and the Gardaí to conduct an audit of the flashpoints in the complex and to work with the residents to identify policing and estate management measures that can be taken to deter and prevent anti-social behaviour.

Action and confidence building measures are needed to be put in place immediately to reassure the residents that there is a bright future for the O’Devaney Gardens community.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Amendments to Phibsborough Local Area Plan Go on Public Display

Following the recent public consultation on the Phibsborough Local Area Plan Cllr Emer Costello proposed almost 40 amendments to ensure that residents concerns would be addressed in the final Plan.

A considerable number of her amendments were agreed by the City Council and accepted by the City Manager, while it was not possible to secure agreement on others. The Draft Local Area Plan was adopted by the City Council at its meeting on 7th July subject to a new consultation process on the proposed amendments.

Dublin City Council will now put the amendments on display and invite submissions from the public (note submissions can only relate to the proposed amendments). The proposed amendments to the Draft Plan will go on display from Friday 25th July 2008 to Friday 22nd August 2008 (inclusive) at the following locations:

Civic Offices,
Wood Quay, Dublin 8
Monday – Friday, 9am.00 – 4.30 pm

Dublin City Council Cabra Area Office
97 New Cabra Road, Dublin 7
Monday – Thursday,10.00 am– 4.00 pm

Phibsborough Library,
Blacquiere Bridge, North Circular Road
Monday & Wednesday:
12.45-4.00p.m. & 4.45 p.m. – 8.00 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday
10.00 am – 1.00 pm & 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm

Dublin City Council will also hold an information session on the proposed amendments at Conference Room 2, St Peters Church, Phibsborough on Tuesday 5th August 2008 from
6.30 pm to 9.00 pm

The report detailing the proposed amendments is also available on the Phibsborough Local Area Plan page of the Dublin City Council Website (click on link). Hard copies of the report are also available on request from the Planning Department

Written submissions or observations on the proposed amendments must be submitted by 4.30 p.m. on Friday 22nd August 2008. Submissions can be made by email to or addressed to Tom Vaughan, Planning Department, Dublin City Council, Civic Offices, Wood Quay Dublin 8.

The Manager has until 18th September to prepare a report on the submissions received. The City Councillors will then have six weeks from 19th September to consider the Manager’s report.

Summary of Main Issues in Proposed Amendments to Phibsborough Local Area Plan

The proposed multi-purpose sports and recreation centre at Phibsborough Village Centre to be increased in size from 2,000m2to 2,500 m2

Provision of a Cinema/auditorium/theatre on the Phibsborough Shopping Centre site

An area equivalent to the pitch at Dalymount Park to be designated for sports, cultural and play areas and additional space to this to be allocated for the provision of a new or extended school

The deletion of the proposals in the first draft of the LAP for mews developments at the Smurfit Site (bounding onto Marguerite Road) and Mount Bernard Park

The enhancement and enlargement of Mount Bernard Park through the acquisition of the disused Iarnrod Éireann lands, and the creation of new pedestrian and cycle route to the Royal Canal combined with a new pedestrian bridge at the Canal

The reinstatement of the residential Z1 zoning “To protect, provide and improve residential amenities” for the lands a 1 – 10 Villa Bank and 140-143 Phibsborough Road, to the north of Devery’s Lane, Villa Bank, and the deletion of the proposal to rezone this land to “mixed services” Z4

The deletion of any reference to compulsory purchase orders of properties for the development of a new east/west route from Phibsborough Village Centre to Innisfallen Parade

The proposed red-dotted east west route from Phibsborough to Mountjoy has been deleted to allow for alternative routes to be considered between Phibsborough Road and Mountjoy

The designation of three Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs) at 1)Great Western Square, Monck Place/ the Borough; 2)Royal Canal Bank/Blessington St Basin/Primrose/Fontenoy Street and 3)Phibsborough Centre

The inclusion of Cabra Park and Villa Bank in the proposed “Homezones”

A new housing objective to ensure that all proposals for extensions to single storey artisan dwellings respect the architectural character of the area and protects the residential amenity and privacy of adjoining properties

Dublin City Council will encourage high quality retail uses within Phibsborough Shopping Centre and the North Circular Road

The restatement of Policy RES 19 in the Dublin City Development Plan which seeks to safeguard against a proliferation of institutional hostel type accommodation in residential areas and the referral of this objective to the Housing SPC for their consideration.

A commitment to the enforcement of the waste management Code of Practice for multi-occupancy dwellings. (Dublin City Council has also given a separate undertaking that they will conduct an audit of rented accommodation in the area)

The provision of studio space for artists in a number of the key sites

Dublin City Council to encourage the provision of a multi-denominational or non-denominational post primary school in the area

A greater emphasis on activities for senior citizens in the education and community/social infrastructure sections