Donate to help fund legal and costs for Judicial Review of Castle Park Proposal taken by individuals on behalf of local Dalkey Community
Concerned Dalkey residents, Ann-Maria and Denis Lucey, have sought a judicial review against the decision by An Bord Pleanála (ABP) to allow a huge scale development on the woodlands in Castle Park School grounds. DLRCC had previously refused permission for the development citing concerns about the size, height and scale of the proposal and the impact it would have on the future needs of the school. An Bord Pleanála had also refused to grant planning permission for the previous proposal on the subject site citing concerns about the removal of the mature trees on the site.
A Public Meeting was held on Thursday 4 October in Fitzpatrick’s Castle, to discuss this application in full. The judicial review has been given the go ahead for a hearing in December.
The proposed development could have a detrimental impact on the local community in the Castle Park area including Hyde Road, Ulverton Road, Breffni Road, Castlelands, Castle Park Residence, Castle Park Road, Castle Close and the parents and pupils of Castle Park School. The members of Cuala GAA club and Dalkey United will be greatly affected. This case is therefore an action to protect the local community.
Traffic, parking, safety and noise
The vehicular traffic generated by the proposal will be routed onto the existing school avenue where it will connect directly with the existing school traffic. The existing access point to Castlepark road is via a narrow protected archway with restricted sight-lines, located directly beside the junction between Castlepark Road and Castle Close on the one hand, and the T junction where Castlepark road meets Ulverton road on the other. The narrow archway allows only for entry or exit at any given time, leading to back-up of traffic on the public roads and on the avenue itself. Even under the present circumstances where it serves only the school, many parents prefer to drop off their children on the adjoining roads rather than use the avenue itself. The situation would be exacerbated if another 50-80 vehicles from the proposed apartments were to join the morning rush.
Although Castle Park School sold off their overflow staff car park for development in 2005, the car park has been in use as all previous planning applications had been refused. There would therefore be additional parking problems for the staff and parents of Castle Park School if the development were to go ahead.
During the construction phase itself, there would be additional traffic disruptions due to large cranes, earth movers and diggers in the area six days a week from 8am to 6pm. The traffic disruptions, chemical blasting of granite and noise would be expected to occur for the duration of an expected construction period of 2-3 years as the development is substantial
This would all have an adverse effect on the entire community with increased traffic, limited parking, risks to children’s safety in the area in general, in Cuala and Dalkey United Clubs on Hyde Road, and in Castle Park School in particular.
10 August 2017, DLRCC had previously refused planning permission for this development for reasons including the following:
Scale, height and size –“It is considered that the continuity of the built form, which extends across almost the full length of the site, together with the overall height of the development and the uniformity of materials and design, would result in a development of excessive scale, massing and uniformity, which would visually dominate and be overly prominent within the grounds of the Protected Structure and which would be overly prominent and visually overbearing on the outlook from adjacent residential areas. The development as proposed would therefore seriously detract from the setting of the Protected Structure and would be seriously injurious to the visual amenities and landscape character of the area“
Future needs of Castle Park School – “any proposed residential development shall have regard to the future needs of the school and allow sufficient space to be retained adjacent to the school for possible future school expansion / redevelopment. The submitted details do not however include any assessment or consideration of the future needs of Castle Park School.”
Green Space, ecosystems, woodlands and wild life
An Bord Pleanála had also refused to grant planning permission for the previous proposal on the subject site (Reg. Ref. D07A/1117 and ABP ref. PL06D.227213) “the mature trees on the site comprise a significant feature in the local landscape, and comprise a passive amenity resource both for the school and for the surrounding area, Policy H10 of the current Development Plan for the area provides that trees, groups of trees or woodlands which form a significant feature in the landscape, or which are important in setting the character or ecology of an area shall be preserved wherever possible”
Green space is now seen as a key part of the HSE strategy to encourage and empower people to lead healthier lifestyles. (Ref: DLRCC County Development Plan 2016-2022 Appendix 14 dlr Green Infrastructure Strategy)
It is also essential to have areas of ecological respite for wildlife, the fauna and the flora, green corridors for migrating birds and wildlife, for the absorption and conversion of carbon monoxide by groups of trees into oxygen. The developer claims that only 23% of the trees will be affected. However, if this development were to go ahead, it is unlikely that many trees would survive the mass excavation required to build an underground carpark to hold a minimum of eighty car parking spaces and additional bicycle spaces. The entire root system of all of the trees would be destroyed, the water table and the rock plate that runs down to Bullock harbour would also be disturbed. The ecosystem would be ravished forever.