Wednesday 7 March 2007

Council under heavy fire

Stakeholders in the Sandyford Business Estate Association believe that the needs of their high-profile businessesare being ignored

DUN Laoghaire County Council came under heavy fire at the Sandyford Business Estate Association (SBEA) annual general meeting last week.

SBEA, the organisation representing members of the former Sandyford and Stillorgan Industrial Estates, slammed the council and other stakeholders for ignoring its requirements despite the might of the businesses it represents.

At the agm last Thursday, SBEA asked for quicker action and better consultation on several points affecting the businesses of the Sandyford Estate.


The association pointed out that the Sandyford Business Estate at present enjoys €15.6bn annual turnover, employs 24,000 people and contributes €1.2bn annually to the local economy. It is thus "the lifeblood of Dun Laoghaire County Council", it asserted.

The Sandyford Commercial Zone contributes an annual rates payment of €70m, representing 60% of all rates paid to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

Yet, in matters of infrastructure, environment and planning, SBEA - as the voice of the businesses in the area - feels that it is being left out in the cold.

While there is general acceptance that there will be disruption as the estate evolves into a mix of commercial, business and residential buildings, the agm heard that the views of SBEA also need to be considered.

SBEA is seeking immediate action on the upkeep of the estate and meaningful consultation on existing and future development plans.

In addition, it was pointed out that An Bord Pleanala has expressed a deep concern at the lack of strategy for Sandyford in a recent letter to the Council Planning Department.

"People are being forced to move their business because of the lack of forward and joined up planning; because of insufficient access to the estate; and because of the poor working environment, while developers are given priority over ratepayers," Jim Leyden, deputy chairman of the SBEA commented.

"If more businesses are forced to move, nobody wins. In addition, meaningful consultation between the stakeholders is very poor.

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