Monday, 12 February 2007

Tallaght overdevelopment

I missed this article when it appeared in Village Magazine at the end of January. It's worth a read. Article by Emma Browne.

Local residents in Tallaght have grouped together to protect the historic Tallaght Village from overdevelopment. By Emma Browne

Locals in Tallaght are concerned at a planning application to build a four storey apartment block in the centre of the historic Tallaght village.
A collection of local residents groups, called the Tallaght Resident's Umbrella Group (TRCU) are objecting to the building of apartments in the heart of Tallaght village, which was one of the earliest monastic settlements in Ireland in the 8th century.

The planning application is for the site of a former ESSO garage adjacent to the St Mary’s Priory, built in 1864.

Tallaght village was designated an architectural conservation area in the county development plan 2004-2010. But the ESSO site, on the Greenhills road comes just outside the conservation area boundary.

In the Tallaght town centre masterplan adopted by South Dublin County Council (SDCC) in October 2006 they identified the village area of “archaeological importance”. It said that a conservation plan is to be submitted in relation to the Priory site and St Maelruans, once a monastery, “in advance of any significant future development”. The plan also notes that the Priory is a “landmark structure whose settings are enhanced by surrounding areas of open land”.

The TRCU are asking that the ESSO site be included as part of the conservation area as of its proximity to the Priory.

They are also concerned that with more apartments around the village it will become overdeveloped.

“Given there are over 3,000 apartments being built within a one mile radius of The Priory, there is no compelling housing need to develop 4 storey apartments on this site”.

Already there are four apartment complexes being built in the village area. Their campaign is being backed by two local TD’s – Fianna Fail TD Charlie O’Connor and Labour leader Pat Rabbitte.

Since 1960 the Tallaght area has seen intense residential development. In those forty years the population has grown from 2,500 people to 80,000 now. Since 2000 planning permission for 3,000 apartments has been granted. But despite this development there was a decline in population – by 12 per cent from 1986 to 2002.

Recently SDCC adopted a masterplan for the future development of Tallaght over the next eight years, which includes a new town centre in the Belgard/Cookstown area by 2009. They also established guidelines in relation the height of apartment blocks and the size of the apartments. In Tallaght village the maximum height of an apartment block is four storeys and six storeys for town square area of Tallaght. As well they said that more playgrounds have to be built. As part of the redevelopment of Tallaght the council say they will grant planning permission for up to 550 residential units a year over the next six years.

The TRCU are concerned about such intense residential development. They feel that there is a concentration on the development of apartments in the area, without developing houses, duplexes or more family orientated developments. They are also concerned that a lot of the apartment will be bought by investors to let rather than tenant purchasers.

“We are not anti-development, we just want it done in the right way.”

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