Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Council moves to protect green spaces

Irish Times:

A south Dublin local authority has moved to protect its parks following a series of planning applications which included development on local green spaces.
Under a variation to the council's development plan, developers in the Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown area will no longer be able to include green areas in new
planning applications if they have been the subject of a deed of dedication to the council or were designated as open spaces on a previous application.
The move comes after open spaces in Dún Laoghaire, Stillorgan, Dalkey and Foxrock were included in residential planning applications. Some of the greens had been the subject of deeds of dedication to the council by developers but were not followed through.
Open spaces under threat included a green at Sefton Estate in Dún Laoghaire, which was initially included in a planning application for Dun Laoghaire golf course by Cosgrave Brothers, and a green at Stillorgan Heath, part of an application for development by Shannon Homes, which was subsequently withdrawn.
Councillors voted to vary the Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council Development Plan to include the statement "no residential developments may take place in open green spaces that are the subject of a deed of dedication or identified in a planning application as open space".
The variation will go to public consultation early in the new year before going back to councillors for final approval.
The cathaoirleach, Cllr Eugene Reagan (FG), who tabled the variation, welcomed the decision by councillors to accept it.
"With greater density in housing and more apartments it is vital that our green spaces are protected to maintain the quality of life.
"The variation now approved by council will address fully the concerns of residents in such estates as Sefton in Dún Laoghaire, Mapas in Dalkey and Rocwood and Torquay Wood in Foxrock, who are understandably concerned about planning applications affecting their green spaces."
Mr Reagan said the variation would give clarity and legal certainty on the preservation of green spaces.

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