Wednesday 24 July 2019

Paddocks decision is 'disappointing'

The disputed right of way
The disputed right of way

John Manning

'Extreme disappointment' has been expressed by a community group in Donabate after An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for houses in a move it says will extinguish a right of way.

Supporting Proper Development in Donabate (SPDD) had objected to six additional houses being added to planned housing development near Somerton in the village.

SPDD objected on the basis that granting permission for the additional houses would effectively eradicate the right of way.

The right of way was used by primary school and secondary school children, but it has been closed for more than a year now, which the developer claims is necessary for health and safety reasons.

A peaceful protest was held at the closed off entrance to the right of way last September by parents of school children upset at the loss of the safe pathway.

The right of way took children accessing primary and secondary schools away from a narrow footpath on the edge of a road which is congested with regular movements of 12-wheel trucks, SPDD say.

Fingal County Council denied permission to build six houses at the Paddocks, near Somerton but the decision has now been overturned by An Bord Pleanála who have given permission for four of the six homes to be built.

An Bord Pleanála decided that the 'proposed development would not seriously injure the amenities of the area, or of property in the vicinity, or give rise to traffic hazard. The proposed development would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.'

The developer claimed there is no established right of way as the pathway is not lit at night, the lands are in private ownership and the landowner (Gallagher) has not had any wayleaves or registered right of way served under any development plan under the Planning and Development Act.

The developer claimed he does not intend to eradicate the existing links and connections, but is merely planning to divert the pathways.

However, Supporting Proper Development in Donabate (SPDD) is adamant that the right of way exists.

Sharing SPDD's views on the issue is local election candidate for Labour, Corina Johnston, who said: 'I am extremely disappointed that An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission for houses that will remove a right of way through The Paddocks estate, Donabate.

She added: 'The planning authority had originally refused permission on a number of grounds, including the implication on the right of way. The developer subsequently appealed this decision to An Bord Pleanála. However, the planning authority did not register it as a public right of way when the ownership of the lands transferred to the developer. This right of way was used by many children travelling to and from school. I have campaigned for the retention of the right of way since it's closure in September 2017.'

Fingal Independent