'Urban sprawl' must be avoided
A peninsula councillor has welcomed the funding announcement last week that will allow the long-awaited Donabate Distributor Road to be constructed but said the development that road will bring has to be managed carefully and long-standing issues on the peninsula must be addressed alongside that new development.
Cllr Adrian Henchy (FF) welcomed the Government investment of €15.5 million in the new road which will also provide for the development of 1,200 new homes along the road.
But sounding a note of caution, Cllr Henchy said: 'While this new road is very much welcomed within the community the reality is it will be a bypass to Portrane and the new National Forensic hospital at St. Ita's Portrane.
'The road will effectively open up a new corridor to build more houses and while I welcome this, it is critically important that the development of new houses is phased over time and the area is respected for being a peninsula that enjoys a very positive rural and urban feel and does not become an urban sprawl.'
Cllr Henchy added: 'In tandem with this new by pass road, given the volume of homes to be built in the area, the transport needs of the community will need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. The trains in and out of Donabate are oversubscribed and frequently people cannot even get on the train at peak hours.
'While, I welcome new homes to the area, it is important that development is kept to the guidelines of the local area plan. Currently there is safety issues at both St Patrick's Boys' School and Scoil Padhraic Cailini these concerns need to addressed prior to any new builds in the area. The current road and footpath network need to be improved, particularly around Donabate Village. The development of sporting and recreational amenities at the Ballymastone Campus needs to be addressed especially around access and egress to the facilities for both pedestrians and motorists.
Cllr Henchy also called for 'significant investment' in the current infrastructure of the peninsula and for locals to be given a 'fair opportunity' to acquire the new homes that will be developed there.