Tuesday 15 October 2019

Housing and jobs must go together

An image from the Estuary West Masterplan.
An image from the Estuary West Masterplan.

In terms of housing delivery three of these masterplans will deliver approximately 3,400 units and add about 10,000 people to the population of Swords and there will be a need to provide jobs for all those new residents.

When you consider that a similar figure is planned at the Oldtown and Mooretown lands in Swords, the council can see Swords growing to a population of 60,000 in the 'medium-term'.

Talking about the plans in somre more detail, Senior Planner, Peter Byrne said the masterplans are 'primarily about delivering population growth'.

But allied to that, the senior planner said that jobs growth so that new population does not have to get in their cars and travel out of Swords, is important.

The majority of those jobs will come in Barrysparks & Crowscastle and there could be as many as 18,000 of them.

The masterplans contain over a quarter of a million square metres of commercial floorspace.

Already, the area has major corporate tenants like Ryanair and MSD and according to Mr Byrn,e the council wants to see complimentary developments in this area, particularly focused on high tech industries and research and development.

Talking about the ambitious nature of the plans, Senior Planner, Matthew McAleese said: 'We've had ambitious plans for swords for quite some time now and I think it's becoming a reality now with the imminent Metro and BusConnects. It's about pulling all these individual elements together.

'We have the Swords Cultural Quarter, we have the masterplans and we have the Swords Vision and the county council has made a lot of acquisitions, had consultations and done a lot of background work and it's really about pulling all those different elements together now.'

Later this year, a 'placemaking strategy' for the Main Street in Swords will be added to the mix to make sure it remains at the heart of Swords and is more accessible from other parts of the town on foot or by bike.

Mr McAleese also talked about setting up a Swords Town Management Partnership to the manage the town's development and involved all of its stakeholders.

He said: 'It's an exciting time for Swords...'

Fingal Independent