Monday, 12 April 2010

Minister stresses importance of new town before vote on rezoning

PROPOSALS TO develop a new town at Cherrywood, south Dublin, are to be brought to Government within weeks, the Minister for Sustainable Transport and Planning has said.

Green Party Minister Ciarán Cuffe said the proposals would ensure proper facilities would be developed side by side with homes and businesses at Cherrywood, a 361-hectare site between the M50 and the N11.

He made his announcement before a controversial rezoning motion comes before Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council today to reduce retail zoning at Cherrywood and increase it at Carrickmines, also off the M50.

If the motion, tabled by six councillors, is passed, it will initiate a variation of the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Development Plan. It will also countermand an order by Minister for the Environment John Gormley not to increase retail zoning at Carrickmines.

Mr Cuffe said yesterday that developer-led zonings were running the danger of undermining millions of euros in infrastructure investment and the creation of thousands of new jobs over the next decade.

He said the Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), the planning framework that will create the new town at Cherrywood, would provide the bedrock for sustainable economic development and job-creation. It would also allow for fast-tracked planning.

Mr Cuffe said the new town, when fully developed over 10 years, would provide 12,500 homes and 18,000 jobs.

“The proper infrastructure – including a new Luas line with five stops in Cherrywood which will open later this year – has been put in place. It has the potential to create a vibrant, dynamic new town in south Dublin.”

He was concerned the SDZ would be undermined by the Carrickmines motion, on which councillors will vote today.

“I have deep concerns that, because of the employment situation in Ireland at present, councillors and politicians are falling victim to the old claim of jobs being promised as long as a zoning takes place,” he said.

“Trading a zoning for a promise is not good planning and is consistent with past practices of light-touch regulation and pure and simple cronyism that got our country into its present difficulties.”

Councillors have also come under pressure from the developers of both Carrickmines and Cherrywood, who wrote to them on Friday.

The Carrickmines developer, Park Developments, has promised 800 jobs, a “guaranteed” anchor tenant as well as interest from other retailers should the motion be passed.

The Cherrywood developer, Dunloe Ewart, has threatened legal proceedings should the motion be passed. It said it has already spent €28.6 million on infrastructure in Cherrywood.

Irish Times

No comments: