Monday 23 July 2018

Councillors vote in favour of controversial halting site to facilitate new runway at Dublin Airport

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Conor McCrave

An extended traveller family will be rehomed in a rural village in north Dublin to facilitate a new runway at Dublin Airport, despite hundreds of concerns from local residents about flooding in the region.

A traveller family that has been living at a site in Collinstown for 30 years will move 12km north to the town of Coolquay after councillors voted in favour of the development last night.

In order to facilitate the development of a runway at Dublin Airport, Fingal County Council proposed to move the 50 residents from the Collinstown site which was being leased from Dublin Airport Authority since 1988.

The new development will include seven residential units, each with two parking spaces on council owned lands in Coolquay which has a population of 100 people.

A total of 646 “observations” were submitted during the process from local residents, as well as residents living across north Dublin and Meath.

Concerns on these submissions were centred around flooding in the region if the land was used to house the traveller families.

Many households in Coolquay submitted multiple observations during the process.

The site is believed by many to be a flood plain absorbing run-off water from surrounding streams.

Other concerns raised included the capacity of local infrastructure and schools to accommodate the new traveller families in the area.

Council management said the Office of Public Works did not indicate such an extent of “historic flooding” but said it had included a water and waste treatment system for the site.

Independent Cllr Anne Devitt said the development’s waste water treatment system is “highly vulnerable” and said “I don’t know how you justify putting a family on a floodplain”.

Sinn Féin Cllr Paul Donnelly, however, cautioned against rejecting the proposed development. He said the council should ensure the proposal was supported.

Solidarity Cllr Matthew Waine said travellers have been “vilified and unrepresented” at council level and suggested a rejection of the proposal would reflect this.

The proposal passed with 75pc of councillors in favour of the development.

Construction of the runway by Dublin Airport Authority is expected to begin in 2019.

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