Horror at monster plans for Sallynoggin developmentPadraig Conlon 31 May 2023
ANGRY locals say that proposals for a development on the site of the former Deerhunter pub at the Glenageary/Sallynoggin roundabout are ‘horrific.’
The site is zoned NC ‘neighbourhood centre’ with a zoning objective to ‘protect, provide for and/or improve mixed-use neighbourhood centre facilities.’
However, campaigners say the latest plans for apartment blocks of up to seven storeys do not chime with that objective.
RedRock Glenageary lodged a planning application with Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council for an LRD development of 140 apartments and commercial units to include a pharmacy, a florist, a restaurant and a creche. Red Rock were refused permission for a nine storey scheme following a strong local campaign last year.
Nicola Coleman, a community organiser who started a petition against the previous scheme, says the campaign is resurrected to resist these latest plans.
She says CGI images presented on the developer’s website are ‘concerning’ and give ‘a distorted view.’
“These images were created using wide angle lenses that make tall buildings look smaller and farther away,” she said.
“Realistically, a 7-storey building on top of a hill beside small houses and cottages will look exactly as you would expect, overbearing and enormous.
“This site is not zoned for high-rise high-density development and should not be mis-purposed in such a cynical way.
“Neighbourhoods must be properly planned and designed based on people’s needs and wellbeing, not just on the pursuit of profit.
“A site zoned NC should provide real, useful, social neighbourhood facilities and must respect the surroundings and the people that live there.”
Coleman says the people of Sallynoggin and Glenageary deserve a proper neighbourhood centre.
“Why should just one developer, alone, with no roots in the area, get to produce a plan for our neighbourhood centre?” she said.
“Surely such a plan should involve all of us and be part of a proper Local Area Plan.
“Unlike other areas in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Sallynoggin does not yet have a Local Area Plan.
“Until a proper Local Area Plan is in place it would be madness to grant permission on a site zoned neighbourhood centre.”
She says housing built in the area must provide the sort of homes people need and be social and affordable.
Coleman also told Southside People that the developer’s reliance on an old Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is ‘not good enough’ when there are reports of hedgehogs nesting in the long grass and evidence of burrows.
There are also big environmental concerns not just in terms of biodiversity and habitats but also the impact that such a massive development will have on sewage infrastructure, water pressure, flood risks and traffic at an already busy and dangerous junction.
Several meetings were held in the wider area recently to discuss the chaos of a developer led planning system and its inability to deliver proper housing drawing large crowds from across the city including groups like ‘Love Dublin 8’ campaign and Monkstown Road Residents Association who heard from speakers Journalist Frank Mc Donald, Solicitor Fred Logue, former Attorney General Michael Mc Dowell and TD Richard Boyd Barret.
Coleman says that communities are ‘sick to the teeth’ of unruly development, the battle faced by ordinary people to have their voice heard and a planning system rife with scandals where the property industry has huge lobbying powers while the citizen is largely ignored.
She says developers get pre planning meetings with the Planning Authority while the citizen gets a piece of paper pinned to a post and only five weeks to read and respond to complex information. Why are the community not involved at the earlier stages she asks. “Our campaign called for consultation with this developer on any plans for the site,” Coleman says.
“Instead in the weeks leading up to their planning application the field was fenced in, gated and locked.
“Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council issued a warning letter to the owners.
However, the fence remains in situ.
“People are concerned that maybe developers think they can do what they like?
“It’s time to take a stand, everybody can use their voice to make an objection.
“It’s important too to ask local politicians to stand up for the community.
“It’s just not good enough for government TDs to rattle out a mantra that they won’t oppose any planning applications for housing.
“It’s a nonsensical view that makes no difference.
“If they care about housing, they should be building social and affordable housing and ensuring that private developments provide quality homes that do not end up in the hands of corporations and investment trusts.
“It was very clear from recent meetings that people want real solutions instead of being blamed for government failures because they dare to challenge a property industry and the wealth management funds behind it.”