Housing and GAA pitches earmarked for Rathcoole ParkGary Ibbotson 18 May 2023
Land at Rathcoole Park has been earmarked for the development of housing, a school, and GAA pitches, according to South Dublin County Council.
At this month’s council meeting, the local authority told councillors that the site, which is located at the southern end of the park, can facilitate a mix-use development.
In a report, the council said that a “primary school, library hub, two full sized GAA pitches and one junior pitch and associated pavilion, access road and open space is provided with new residential development.”
The site will be able to accommodate 155 to 165 units and the initial indication is that they will consist of 40 percent housing units, 34 percent duplex units, and 26 percent apartment units.
Under the plans, the Rathcoole Woodland would not be reduced in size and a “sensitively managed mature planted boundary alongside development of the housing and school.”
However, local Independent councillor Francis Timmons said while he welcomes the proposal he is “concerned at any potential damage to the Rathcoole woodland and the three protected confirmed habitats.”
Timmons says an iron-fastened plant to protect the woodlands should be put in place.
“Rathcoole Woodlands is clearly within the boundary of the concept,” he says.
“Given the huge interest and debate on the woodlands, I asked what is the planning process/mechanism and can the different planning phases be set out with the timeframe for the delivery of the concept elements?
“Is SDCC making the planning application for all the concept elements; houses, school, and sports facilities?
“Also, given the very sensitive nature of the adjoining Rathcoole Woodlands Habitat and the wide and varied public interest in them, what plans have the council for meaningful engagement with the public and updating councillors.”
Timmons says that additional environmental assessments should be carried out and a list of what are being assessed should be provided to representatives.
“I will be watching and monitoring progress on the masterplan closely, while there is a need for housing we cannot walk blindly into a climate disaster and take action that will add to an already climate crisis.”
According to the council, the plans are currently in the draft stage and the next steps include finalising the urban framework, progressing the preliminary design, the development of a detailed design and the procurement of a contractor to construct the scheme.