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Families fight to keep their gardens from being seized

Angry South Dublin residents fear their local authority could cut the size of their gardens in order to build social housing.

A row has erupted between residents of Clonkeen Road, Deansgrange, and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council -- with residents believing their gardens could be at risk in the council's draft local area plan.

The residents are now planning a protest to show their concern over the plans.

They claim the Deansgrange Local Area Plan (LAP) suggests that up to two thirds of their gardens could be used for land needed to build a housing development.

Residents have sent around 100 letters of objection into the council to have the local area plan amended. Joe McEnri, chairman of the Clonkeen Road Residents' Association, said: "Our back gardens have been singled out and up to two thirds of our gardens could be involved."

But a spokeswoman for the council said it has no plans to use the residents' back gardens for housing.

"The council appreciates that some residents have expressed concern regarding the draft, but the council have no plans now, or in the future, to acquire the rear gardens of houses fronting on to Clonkeen Road for social housing," she said.

But the residents want any suggestion of their land being used for development to be removed from the plan.

Mr McEnri stressed: "We want the designation of our gardens for development to be completely removed."

The council spokeswoman explained: "This draft Deansgrange LAP would provide stricter control and guidance if -- in the future -- residents choose to develop their back gardens in this location."

But residents remain confused, with Mr McEnri saying there was a lot of anger that they hadn't been consulted.