Wednesday 28 September 2016

Neighbours slam plan to demolish homes for new swimming pool

Published 24/05/2016 | 12:52

Councillor Deirdre Donnelly in St Laurence’s Park, Stillorgan, where the council may demolish 16 maisonettes to make way for a replacement for the Glenalbyn swimming pool
Councillor Deirdre Donnelly in St Laurence’s Park, Stillorgan, where the council may demolish 16 maisonettes to make way for a replacement for the Glenalbyn swimming pool

The possible demolition of a row of homes in Stillorgan to make way for a swimming pool has been blasted by residents and local politicians who say they should be used to help relieve the housing crisis.

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Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is debating the future of 16 maisonettes in the St Laurence’s Park cul-de-sac.

It must decide if the houses should be knocked down along with the library across the road, which local people say was refurbished in the past three years at a cost of more than €250,000.

Only three residents remain in the maisonettes, the others having been bricked-up by the council.

Local people also said that the Glenalbyn swimming pool, which has fallen into disrepair, could have been restored as a viable community facility.

Independent councillor Deirdre Donnelly said it would be “a shame” to demolish the houses when there are so many people waiting for homes.

“At a time when there is a severe shortage of housing, it doesn’t make sense to be knocking down homes to build a swimming pool when it would be easier to redevelop the existing pool at Glenalbyn which was only closed in the last three years,” she said.

“People have been here for a long time and they’re close to their GPs and the shops and all the other services and amenities they rely on.

“Having empty homes beside them when I have people ringing every day looking for housing is a disgrace.

“There are homes built at the same time as these ones elsewhere in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown that are still serving their purpose very well.

“All it would take is some refurbishment and these homes could be used again.”

One resident, who did not want to be named, said she has lived in St Laurence’s Park for 47 years.

“I’d like to stay. I was crying in front of a councillor talking about it,” she said. “I don’t know where I would go or when I would be moved.

“A huge amount of money was spent on the library recently. Is nobody accountable for all this use of taxpayers’ money if it’s in line to be demolished?”

A spokesperson for the council said any future development in the area is subject to a report “that will be issued in due course to the elected council”.

“This report will be considered by the council, who will be the ultimate decision-makers. It would be inappropriate to make any comment prior to that,” they said.

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