Castlelands Masterplan – Make your voices heard!May 2, 2019 ADMIN 0
The Castlelands Masterplan will be up for public consultation from 7th May to 28th May and the council will then review it for approval at the July council meeting. This is a chance for residents to have their say and avoid mistakes of the past. Below are some items for consideration when making your submission.
The plan presented to Councillors at the Fingal County Council meeting on 11th April 2019 at the aims to introduce another 1,000 houses in 24.2 hectare site along with swimming pool and additional school. This has the potential to move over 4,000 more residents to the area (based on household sizes of 2 adults and 2 children) not including the additional traffic that a swimming pool will bring.
This plan represents a serious over-development of this site, to put it into context; the net density is up to 57 houses per hectare with proposed building up to 6 stories high. The density in Fancourt Heights and Hampton Cove is 20 houses per hectare!
We have also added some images below to show how a 6 storey development would look in some of the existing estates in Balbriggan
The public consultation is now open – click here
Here are some items to consider when making a submission:
- Built development should in all respects be appropriate to the character of the place in which they are situated. There are currently no 6 story buildings in Balbriggan or in any of the surrounding towns – Skerries, Lusk, Rush, Swords.
- To put this into context the buildings at Castlemill are 3 stories high
» PLANNING PRECEDENCE
- Where calls have been made for Dublin city to have more high rise this certainly can’t also be the case for urban towns/villages like Balbriggan
- The scale of new residential schemes for development should be in proportion to the pattern and grain of existing developments
- There are no buildings over 4 floors in height in Balbriggan
» FIRE SAFETY
- The new Castlelands Masterplan with its building plan of up to six stories high doesn’t taken into consideration the fact that the fire service in Balbriggan does not have the equipment to service these multi story buildings.
- In a recent test to a 5 story planning application in Balbriggan the Dublin fire service ran a check how quickly it could get a ladder unit to this site in Balbriggan, it took 35 minutes and that was just to get to site. It doesn’t take into here not the time it takes to get water on the fire. This is totally unacceptable lives will be put in danger.
- A full time fire service fully equipped with ladder units, pump engines should be in place before any planning application over 3 stories is even considered in Balbriggan knowing you have no way to put out a fire within a reasonable time above the third story
- To continue planning for buildings of this height is totally irresponsible and criminally negligent.
- Planning Permission granted for 90 bedroom residential care home/nursing home at Lands at the former Sea Mills Hosiery Factory, Bath Road, Balbriggan, Co Dublin
- Decision to grant permission subject to 16 no conditions one of which was to reduce the height of the building for reasons can be seen in the images below (with a link to the file)
- There doesn’t seem to be any costings for the cost of policing another 1,000 units with up to 4,000 people and up to 2,000 cars in the plan. This would need to be brought before the Department of Justice in respect of the extra cost facing them or is the councils plan to further dilute the service the Gardai are providing and let them take the blame when there are shortcomings.
- The plan seems to lack a budget for providing extra health services which are already at maximum capacity – doctors, nurses, health visitors, ambulances, will once again be diluted
- Currently there is gridlock in Castlelands at peak times in the morning and evenings when people are going to work and the school children are
- Residents find it difficult to access the roads and this over development will further impact
- If the link road to the Skerries road is ever built (plan to build after first 200 units is complete!) this will cause more traffic as residents south of Balbriggan will use it to quickly access the M1 motorway.
» OWNER OCCUPIERS BEING PRICED OUT OF THE MARKET
It is important that any new housing developments in Balbriggan have a caveat built into the plan that 90% of the homes can only be purchased by owner occupiers
- Housing groups (such as Respond) are buying up houses in new and existing developments again making it impossible for families to get on the housing ladder.
- Big investors have been described as ‘cuckoo funds’ because they pump money into developments that are not available to purchase by individuals or families. ‘Build-to-rent’ developments mean that owner-occupiers are essentially locked out of purchasing these properties.
» IN CONCLUSION
The Castlelands Masterplan seems to be a mechanism to deliver large quantities of units in a small space with no consideration for existing residents or to develop existing services. A community is a place for people and families to live and grow and this should includes health services, emergency services, open spaces, parks, shops, community centers playgrounds and much more
Check out our post on how to make a submission here