Council must listen to Community on Grange social housing plan – Ó Broin
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid-West Eoin Ó Broin has said that South Dublin County Council management must listen to the local community before finalising the proposed 109 social houses in the Grange, Clondalkin. The Council is due to make a final decision on the development later this month.
The Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson said:
“Sinn Féin has long campaigned for the development of a Council led mixed tenure development on the Grange site in Clondalkin. Following a detailed consultation with local residents and other interested parties we made a detailed submission to the Council in July.
“Despite our reservations about the funding model imposed on the Council by the Minister for Housing, Sinn Féin supports the development of 109 social houses at this location. However, we have made a number of reasonable proposed amendments to the plan which we believe will lead to a better and more integrated development.
“It is important that the Council management listen to the concerns of the local community. It would be unfortunate if they used the cumbersome public private partnership tendering process as an excuse not to improve the development. This would not only lead to a lower quality development but undermine public confidence in future social housing proposals. It may also delay the delivery of these much needed houses.
“Sinn Féin will be engaging with the Council management in the coming weeks to impress upon them the importance of working with elected representatives and local people to ensure the best possible development that meets the needs of existing and future residents.”
Note: Sinn Féin proposed amendments to the social housing proposal are as follows
Sinn Féin supports the development of a mixed tenure residential development on the Grange site with appropriate amenities for the entire community
Our strong preference is for this to take place as a single development, led by South Dublin County Council, funded through the exchequer to ensure a proper mix of social, affordable rental and affordable sale homes with adequate social, education and economic amenities.
We have argued strongly against both the use of a Public Private Partnership model for the delivery of the 109 social housing units and the use of a Joint Venture/Land Initiative model for the broader Grange development.
We have also strongly argued that South Dublin County Council should manage any proposed social housing units in this development rather than an Approved Housing Body.
Not withstanding these observations and in the context of the housing crisis and the need for more social and affordable housing Sinn Féin is willing to support the current Part 8 proposal subject to the following amendments:
1. We propose that the 109 unit development be split into two separate sections with the top left hand block (adjacent to Cherrywood Crescent) and the larger block (on the right hand side of the new feeder road) being moved closer to the Old Nangor Road. There are a number of possible reconfigurations of the development that would allow for some degree of integration and tenure mix with any future development. This would also have the advantage of avoiding any development at the entrance to Cherrywood Crescent and the consequent flood risk. We propose that this area would remain landscaped as open space. It is proposed that the Architects Department meet with the Clondalkin Area Committee to discuss possible reconfigurations prior to a revised Part 8 being proposed to Councillors.
2. We propose that a site meeting involving residents, Councillors and Council officials takes place prior to any decision on the Part 8 at the Cherrywood Crescent entrance to the development site to discuss the issue of flood risk and the impact of the proposed attenuation ponds and wider development on existing residents.
3. We propose that a revised Part 8 includes explicit commitments that there will be no new pedestrian or vehicular access into the Grange from Cherrywood or Kilcarbery during or after development
4. We propose that the aesthetic finish of the development is sensitive to the housing types and styles of the existing estates and, in as much as is possible, anticipates the kinds of styles likely to be used in the broader development in the Grange
5. We propose that the Council provide additional semi mature trees along the boundary between Kilcarberry and the Grange to complete the existing line of trees along Kilcarbery Avenue and to provide an adequate boundary wall ion the Grange side of the trees to replace the existing fencing.
6. We propose the establishment of a liaison group involving Council officials, residents and the private consortia involved in this development prior to, during and after any development taking place to address the broad range of issues that would arrive both during development (rats, disturbance, site maintenance etc) and to discuss broader issues surrounding the development (traffic management, road infrastructure, estate management, anti social behaviour etc)
7. We propose that the Council commit to a deeper level of public consultation on the broader future plan for the Grange with residents and other local service providers and statutory bodies to ensure that that plan meets the needs of the entire community and avoids the negative unintended consequences of earlier phases of development in surrounding areas of Clondalkin and Lucan.
8. We propose that the Council engage directly with the principal and board of management at Scoil Mochua in advance of any decision on the Part 8 to discuss with the school the impacts of any development at the Grange on the school, its future plans for expansion and its student community to ensure that their needs are also addressed as the Grange site is developed.