Ard na Gréine Residents’ Association
COVID-19 has meant that 2020 will be a year we will never forget. It has had profound effects on our normal lives and activities. The annual Dublin City Council’s Tidy Neighbourhoods competition was cancelled, and Council services were curtailed. Ongoing COVID-19 restrictions has meant that our Annual General Meeting has been deferred, as has the collection of annual subscriptions and Santa Clause visit. Santa has assured us that he will be calling to households as usual on Christmas Eve, and asked us to remind children to follow COVID-19 recommendations, and to keep parents and grandparents safe.
Where appropriate and safe, we continued to liaise with our contacts in Dublin City Council regarding ongoing matters, the most relevant of which was the proposed development on Slademore Avenue/Ayrfield. We had presumed that the site was a “green area” for the estate, but it transpires that it is the property of the Council and has always been earmarked for development. Initially the Council had proposed building 24 social houses, but we now believe this has been changed to approximately 40 senior citizen units incorporating the existing maisonettes.
In September we wrote to our area Dublin City Councillors asking them to have the following points answered by Dublin City Council: -
“Why take our one significant green area away from Ard na Gréine when we are surrounded by estates with much larger green areas e.g., Ayrfield, Cameron, Edenmore, Harmonstown, etc.?
Is there not a question of housing density compared with recreation spaces – there are nearly 400 dwellings on the estate at present?
Statements by City council officials that residents had previously been consulted on the development of this site back in 2006, and that they were positively disposed towards it, were not accurate, and consequently the development was not proceeded with then.
Ard na Gréine already has a chronic problem with traffic both on the estate and accessing Blunden Drive/Malahide Road. When we bought our houses back in the early 70’s it was on the understanding that there would not be any through traffic and access would only be via the Malahide Road. Despite vociferous objections by residents the Council reneged on the planning conditions and opened the road connection to Millbrook with the result we have a major thoroughfare with all the traffic/safety associated problems. How can an additional 40+ units not further exacerbate the problem?
How does taking away our green area fit with current climate/ecology policy? COVID-19 has highlighted the need for local amenities and green spaces in particular?
Over the years the residents of Ard na Gréine have transformed what was initially an ordinary estate with significant teething problems into one that is repeatedly regarded as among the best in Dublin, despite significant cutbacks in services by Dublin City Council. We have a great voluntary involvement by residents in the upkeep of the estate, and as a result have received ongoing awards. We feel that this should be taken into account when any development on the estate is being considered.”
We believe a Design Team has been appointed and work has commenced on the layout and plans for the scheme. While the Council do not have to get planning permission in the usual manner, we understand that they will need a Part 8 planning application approval, which involves a democratic vote by the City Councillors, and consultation with residents and stakeholders will take place. Our local Councillors have assured us that they will keep us informed of developments and we will circulate any proposal as soon as it come to hand. We would like to thank Councillor Daryl Barron for his help in this matter.
Many thanks to residents who have helped to keep the estate looking so well and we wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year.