Update on the Castlelands Masterplan from Cllr Tony Murphy

July 2, 2020 0

As you are aware on 19th of June last the variation on the Fingal Development plan was passed. Its important to note that the intervention of Cobra through all the correspondence to AnnMarie Farrelly and Councillors, and with the input from the planning regulator, distinct changes to the variation were made. This will now frame the argument / debate to have the design of the Masterplan revisited to reconsider Hights and densities.

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Fingal County Council
County Council Meeting
Friday 19th June 2020



Cllr Tony Murphy

Motion 5: Councillor T. Murphy

“In the context of Variation no.2 to the Development Plan, I welcome that Balbriggan has been now classified as a ‘self-sustaining town’, in this context, I hereby request that the C.E. will give an assurance that Balbriggan, will acquire targeted investment to generate local employment and infrastructure, both physical and social, to enable Balbriggan develop at a more sustainable level into the future and that any proposed increase in housing units is balanced against said investment in employment and infrastructure as is required for ‘self-sustaining towns’ in the current Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) for the Eastern & Midland Region”.

Below are quotes from RSES


The Council recognises the importance ensuring there is targeted investment and a cohesive approach to the physical, social and economic development of Balbriggan.

The RSES designates Balbriggan as a self-sustaining town and outlines that these towns require contained growth which focuses on driving investment in services, employment growth and infrastructure alongside balanced housing delivery. It is important that population growth in Balbriggan is balanced with improvements

in services and employment provision. It is imperative Balbriggan’s position as the main town in north County Dublin is strengthened and developed as is appropriate having regard to its strategic location, connectivity with surrounding settlements, and the availability of a skilled workforce.

Therefore, development in Balbriggan will be set against the policies and objectives of the Fingal Development Plan and Our Balbriggan. These documents identify the strategic issues and the vision for structured development and balanced growth for Balbriggan. These documents are complementary to each other and will ensure a much wider balanced approach is taken across Balbriggan and will not be limited to spatial planning issues only.

It is considered that the Development Plan review, in combination with the Our Balbriggan strategy, represent the best opportunity to assess and draft interconnected policies and objectives for the development of Balbriggan.

The breadth and scope of these documents demonstrate Fingal’s commitment to economic renewal, creation of employment opportunities, provision of high-quality residential units and safeguarding environmental qualities in Balbriggan. These documents, and the in-depth background studies required to support them, will create a framework against which Balbriggan can develop, and which are advanced in consultation with the community.

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There is a further determination on the variation to be made by the regulator. A  four week review period is at his disposal which will expire on Friday 17 of July.

The next steps…

The Castlelands Masterplan will go before the members at the end of the year for passing. In its present format I will not be supporting it and I will be asking my colleagues to support the people of Balbriggan and to reject the Masterplan. I will make every effort to have the design revisited to insure that it respects the environs in Castlelands and that heights and densities are commensurate with adjacent housing developments. A Masterplan will be needed to insure the social and physical infrastructure “The Swimming Pool” and “The New Road” are delivered.

I will be seeking a meeting with the new Minister for Housing Minister O’Brien to discuss this masterplan and all future housing developments proposed for our area. I will also be seeking a  meeting with AnnMarie Farrelly CEO and Matthew McAleese director of Planning shortly to discuss the Masterplan in the context of changes made by the variation.

If you have any questions on the process please get in touch, or on any other matter.

Read more articles on the Castlelands Masterplan here

Cllr Tony Murphy