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Debate in Skerries over the proposed zoning of a scenic site at Holmpatrick for housing

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Cllr Seána Ó'Rodaigh

Cllr Seána Ó'Rodaigh

Cllr Seána Ó'Rodaigh

fingalindependent

A Skerries resident is objecting to the proposed residential zoning of a controversial 7.4 acre farmland site in Holmpatrick, Skerries for housing, which he says will take away from “a very scenic part of the landscape.”

Fingal County Council refused planning permission in June 2022 for 18 luxury houses on the site, citing that the development would be would promote “unsustainable transport modes.”

According to Skerries resident Paul O’Sullivan, the site was bought in 2020 from a bank appointed receiver by J Murphy Developments Ltd through a new company, Jolview Ltd, for €1.8 million. 

For “20 years”, Mr O’Sullivan explains, local councillors required a public benefit in return for a limited number of houses on the site. This included a hotel, public park, swimming pool and playing pitches.

Mr O’Sullivan says these conditions – as set down in the Development Plan 2016-2022 – will now not be met should a motion by Councillors Karen Power (GR) and Seana O’Rodaigh (LAB) be successful in having the land rezoned from “High Amenity” to “Residential.”

Speaking of the motion, Mr O’Sullivan says: “The CEO spoke against it, and it was eventually passed by 16 votes to 15.

"What happened then is that the Development Plan went out to consultation with that zoning in it, and a number of people were surprised.

"As part of the consultation exercise, the CEO then produced a report at the end of July and in her report she was recommending that those lands be zoned as “High Amenity.”

“Councillors Power and O’Rodaigh have tabled a (new) motion to again overturn the county planners’ and CEO’s recommendation.”

Mr O’Sullivan says Jolview Ltd have appealed a planning application to An Bord Pleanála, with a decision due on November 1 2022.

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He says: "It’s a very scenic part of the landscape. I’ve been told I should support it because the access road would be beside me, so I’m not objecting for no reason, it’s just a very scenic piece of countryside that should be protected.”

Cllr Seana Ó’Rodaigh, when contacted by The Fingal Independent, said: "It isn’t rezoning, we’re asking that the zoning that has been there for the last two Development Plans be retained. 

“It was said that there was going to be “unlimited” amount of housing there, but that’s not going to happen there.

"We need houses and the land was rezoned twice for houses. I think to be honest there will be problems getting planning there because there’s been issues in the past.

“It went through two development plans, and if you look back on the history of it, quite unusual things happened with decisions.”

Speaking of previous conditions set down for the provision of community facilities, Cllr Ó’Rodaigh said: "There was going to be a community piece to it, but in any other part of Fingal if land is rezoned and developed the developers don’t give anything, they provide the housing and that’s what they do.

"It’s not without controversy, but I would represent the vast majority in the town, and there’s always a small majority who would object.”

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