Tuesday 25 September 2018

Donabate group meet Minister over 'building blitz'

John Manning

A community group in Donabate fighting for sustainable development on the peninsula says it has secured a number of commitments from the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development.

The Supporting Proper Development in Donabate (SPDD) met the Minister Damien English in Leinster House to discuss their concerns over proposed development on the peninsula, including a recent council proposal to build 1,000 homes on lands in Ballymastone.

Members of SPDD outlined to Minister English the chronic traffic issues in Donabate due to  what they called 'a building blitz going on in the area'. The group told the minister they wanted to be consulted on how council-owned lands at Ballymastone would be developed.

SPDD told the minister that there are some 1,104 housing units under construction or in process on the peninsula, despite there being just one road access to the village of Donabate. Construction trucks were being forced to mount footpaths while children are going and coming from school, such are the infrastructural inadequacies in the area, Minister English heard.

SPDD said it was bitterly disappointed senior officials in Fingal County Council were so far, unwilling to meet with the group to hear their concerns. A spokesperson for the SPDD group said it was 'ironic' it could get a meeting with junior minister for housing in Leinster House but not with council officials in Swords. The meeting had originally been scheduled to be held with Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, but he had to pull out at the last minute due to Cabinet commitments. 

Minister English committed to contacting Fingal County Council to relay the concerns of SPDD and to visiting the area. The group said the minister said he would try to meet with the SPDD again while in the area. 

The group also took the opportunity to raise other issues of concern to residents on the peninsula. Minister English, responding to concerns about a shortage of school places with so much house building, said he would check the current schedule for school building in Donabate.

The SPDD said the Minister also said he would speak to Transport Minister, Shane Ross about transport and infrastructure deficits on the peninsula. SPDD said it was the first in a series of meetings it was planning with senior politicians and State officials to 'ensure Donabate is developed in a sustainable way'.

Fingal Independent