c/o County Hall
To whom it may concern;
Please see below my observations in relation to the Planning Application for Large-Scale Residential Development at Flemington Lane, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin.
At the outset, it is important to emphasize the need for housing to meet the growing demand and I believe this is an opportunity to listen to the local community and strike the balance by ensuring that housing is delivered in parallel with the much-needed social infrastructure.
Sustainable home and placemaking requires the necessary social infrastructure to be delivered to cater to the needs of those living in our new neighbourhoods. This is best practice in terms of delivery housing that also establishes communities.
Traffic and Transportation
The proposed development involves setting up multiple main, secondary, and side access routes. It’s really important to thoroughly assess how the extra traffic from the development will impact the current roads, especially Taylor Hill Boulevard, Hastings and Flemington Lane. Also, we should think about better public transport and pedestrian pathways to make getting around the development sustainable. Currently the proposals are completely car dependent, and this contravenes the latest Fingal Development Plan which seeks to move away from car dependent neighbourhoods.
Since the development is a 40-minute walk from the train station and based on the current public transport offering, it will be difficult for residents to access the town centre and the main commuter routes without traveling by car. Should this development proceed it must be done in parallel with
improved public transport, segregated cycle and pedestrian routes, or a potential shuttle bus service.
A recent study of Balbriggan indicated that the town is in need of catch up investment in terms of social infrastructure, this has yet to occur. We have had a significant growth in population that has not been matched with the adequate infrastructure to sustain our communities.
Making sure this development contributes to creating urban spaces that are well-planned, inclusive, safe, and resilient is important.
There are genuine concerns about the shortage of GPs in Balbriggan. With this development bringing in lots of new residents, we need to plan for more healthcare facilities or give incentives for medical professionals to set up practices here.
Also, there’s a real lack of school places in Balbriggan. We need to tackle that issue quickly to ensure our kids get a good education. Before approving this development, we should make sure there’s a solid plan to expand the existing schools to accommodate the growing number of students.
On top of that, there’s not much for teenagers to do around here. It would be great if the Council could think about adding things like basketball courts, skate parks, and spaces for exercise. Our young people need safe and enjoyable places to hang out and stay active therefore reducing the potential for anti-social behaviour.
The inclusion of a Class 1 Public Open Space is welcome, however more recreational zones and green areas throughout the development are needed. The Fingal Development Plan has very ambitious targets relating to this classification and this must be adhered to.
The reality is that this area has been promised high-quality open space that has yet to be delivered. The Class 1 open space was due to be delivered in the early 2000s, and it has not materialised. The residents need this space, and more. It is vital that we deliver housing that aligns with the Fingal Development Plan goals of delivering homes in line with best practice of sustainable placemaking.
In Balbriggan we are facing significant concerns related to wastewater, surface water, and runoff. The current state of the Quay Street pump station is entirely insufficient and has been so for quite a few years. Another pressing issue is the direction of wastewater from Stamullen towards Balbriggan
and the Quay St pump station. The current upgrade works will only bring the facility up to the standard needed to facilitate the current population.
If this development is given the green light, it’s crucial that it adheres fully to Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) compliance. Additionally, making riparian planting a requirement for construction next to farmland and installing oil/fuel sensors along any natural or human-made water
pathways, including culverted streams, rivers, and water channels must be included along with appropriate rainscaping throughout the development.
I am advocating that this development have the same conditions that the Green Party had applied to the LRD in Donabate regarding a ban on REIT sales.
I respectfully ask that these observations be taken into consideration in the delivery of homes in Balbriggan.