MMRA Social Evening November 10th 2016
MMRA would like to invite all members to its annual social evening taking place Thursday November 10th 2016 at 8pm in O’Dwyers; lower Kilmacud Road. This is a great opportunity to catch up with neighbours and friends and to meet some new faces living locally. Tickets available at the door (€5). Refreshments and music will be provided. Looking forward to seeing you all.
Date : 8pm Thursday November 10th 2016 Venue: O’Dwyers (Upstairs); 118 Lower Kilmacud Road
Developers lay siege to Mount Merrion
Mount Merrion is a settled suburb of around 5,000 residents in about 1,500 dwellings, which range from bungalows to 3 bedrooms semi-detached to 5 bedroom detached houses. Built in the 1930’s and 1950’s this mature settled residential suburb is experiencing a number of planning applications and major developments promoted by development companies who have no involvement with the local community and have no understanding or appreciation of the rich cultural, architectural and historic heritage of this area. The Mount Merrion Residents Association (MMRA), which has over 850 members accept that the sites concerned have been zoned residential and welcome developments that are sensitive to the local environment and blend aesthetically with the existing architecture and topography. The MMRA is sympathetic to the current housing crisis but firmly believes that the crisis will not be solved by inserting high-rise developments into mature settled areas, which only serves to enrich a small number of speculative developers.
There can be little doubt in anyone’s mind in Mount Merrion that the area is under siege from a number of developers and from DLR County Council who see every vacant site as an opportunity to profit from their policy of increasing housing density to unprecedented levels. This started in 2015 when An Bord Pleanala granted permission for the construction of 64 apartments on the Flanagans site. Shortly afterward a consortium was granted permission for ten town houses on 93 The Rise. In this case DLR wanted to increase the density on that site until it was brought to their attention that the stables there was a protected structure under the Councils own rules. In this case MMRA held a number of meeting involving the developer’s representatives and other interested parties to resolve issues of concern.
Early this year MMRA were invited by the owners of Union café to meet with them, their architect and town planner to review and discuss a proposed development plan for the site. When asked what we thought the local residents’ concerns maybe we stated that we believed the height and scale of the project would be a major concern as would the increased traffic volumes generated by the project. We also stated that it would be helpful if they would present a model of the proposed development on public display in the function room of the Union Café so that residents could clearly understand what the project entailed. They rejected the suggestion of a model due to cost; however they did agree to hold information evenings for local residents and promised to provide information and pictures for the MMRA website. Three committee members attended the first session on 21st March along with approximately 100 residents. There was little positive comment on the planned project. The second public information session on 22nd March was attended by three other committee members and their experience was identical to the first evening. To date the MMRA website has only received negative feedback on the proposed plans.
The MMRA are disappointed with the developer’s assertion that the local community took part in a “consultation process” with the developer. In reality, the MMRA were shown the initial plans which were almost identical to those submitted to both DLR and to the current An Bord Pleanala application. No effort was made to address and resolve the concerns raised by the community or to determine what would have been acceptable to the community which resulted in only very minor alterations to the original plans. Almost every resident who attended the exhibition of plans was appalled by the proposals. This is reflected in the absence of support for the development from residents (of any age group) and elected representatives. The developer did not act on planning advice given by DLRCC during pre-planning meetings. This proposal is currently under appeal to An Bord Pleanala and a decision is due by 15th December 2016. In our efforts to ensure that an appropriate development of the Union Cafe site ensues, the MMRA has in 2016 participated in three public meetings in which Councillor Barry Saul either chaired or was instrumental in organizing. The other councillors for the area participated and were highly supportive of our efforts. The MMRA held a specific meeting with all local councillor’s and Public Representatives to ensure the same objectives were being pursued The Planning subcommittee of MMRA met on 10 different occasions to coordinate activities and work with our planning and traffic consultants. 337 people lodged objections with DLR to the Union Cafe plans. This is a record number of objections to DLR for any project. Of the 337 only 3 expressed any support for the project and one of these was from the applicant’s architect.
Oatlands Monastery Grounds.
Around the middle of 2015 we learned that Greg Kavanagh’s New Generation group had acquired part of the Oatlands school grounds for housing development. In June of this year the company submitted an application for planning permission for 63 housing units on the site. The Company in preplanning discussions with DLR indicated that they would seek approval for a scheme of 23 houses on the site. The Council stated that they would only consider a scheme in the region of 60 residential units. In addition, the council indicated that they required the developer to take the sewerage and surface water out through Cherrygarth. This would involve raising the level of the site by 2 – 3 meters, excavate a 5 – 6-meter- deep trench through Cherrygarth onto the Kilmacud road and to install a new sewer and surface water drain. Two hundred objections were submitted to DLR. The application was rejected because the developer planned to remove almost all trees on the site in order to meet the council’s density requirements. An interesting aspect of this process is that neither schools on the Oatlands site lodged an objection. If this plan was approved, it would seriously impact on the schools from a child protection viewpoint and their capacity to expand to meet the needs of a growing community. DLR CC rejected the application and the developer has now appealed that decision to An Bord Pleanala. The MMRA has also appealed owing to the basis on which DLR CC made their decision. We will keep you informed of this process as it develops and on what action we need you as a resident to take.
16 Greygates, Roebuck Avenue
Over the past few months a house has been constructed at the N11 end of Roebuck Avenue alongside Number One. The local people had, until last month, a lovely vista of 200-year- old Irish Hardwood trees. Overnight the trees were cut on that site on the 80-year- old road of traditional one story bungalows and a timber framed tall barn-like house with a tin roof appeared on the site. Every garden based memory these residents had held dear for generations were discarded. Their Security, privacy and sanctuary gone in a stroke. That site currently has planning approval for an additional 18 apartments. If this can happen on Roebuck Avenue surely every corner site in Mount Merrion is open to an application for such a development? This has to be a wakeup call for all of us!
While the MMRA is fully supportive of sustainable and balanced development, we consider it vital that the planning mistakes of the Celtic Tiger years are not repeated. For this reason, the MMRA is strongly opposed to unsuitable, ill conceived, poorly designed and out of proportion developments which will lead to acute safety issues, traffic congestion and have a serious adverse impact on the local community and amenities. The MMRA will do everything in its power to oppose such developments and invites all residents of Mount Merrion and surrounding areas to join us in preventing the wholesale destruction of Mount Merrion and our environment. We have a general policy on planning which is published on our website. We publish the list of planning applications for Mount Merrion weekly and encourage residents to inform themselves of any planning application which might impact on them.
What we need from you.
We need every resident of Mount Merrion who values the unique and lovely area in which we are privileged to live to join the MMRA if you are not already a member. In addition, we need people who have skills in planning, law and public affairs to help us but above all we need the enthusiastic support of all our residents with our ongoing efforts. If you are not a member and would like to join or you would like to volunteer to help you can do so by contacting any member of the committee or contact the website www.mountmerrion.ie.
Lovely Leafy Mount Merrion.
Some sections of the media have been having a field day at thinking up mildly sarcastic titles for insipid articles that refer to Mount Merrion. “Leafy”, “old fashioned”, “middle classed”, “pastiche” etc. It is true to say that some of our homes fall into each of those categories but so what? Mount Merrion has a range of services that meet the needs of almost all of its residents. The Community Centre offers activities to suit all ages every day and above all we value the Deerpark with its wide selection of native hardwood trees and wonderful views. Each of our roads are distinctive and are important and cherished by residents. There are 34 separate roads in Mount Merrion, each with its own particular character. Next time you are out for a walk or a stroll take time to study your road. If you have ideas where its ambiance or safety or streetscape can be improved contact your local County Councillor or a member of the MMRA and tell them of your idea or plan. In the past two years MMRA have given small financial assistance to three or four roads where a few locals arranged a ‘get together’ for residents. We are always open to listen to other requests and we will assist where we can. Look at these lovely roads. Is it any wonder we fight to keep them unspoiled?
Speed: 30km/h Speed Limit
As part of the proposed “30km/h Special Speed Limit Housing Estate & Local Residential Roads Draft Road Traffic Special Speed Limit Bye-Laws 2015” DLR CC have drawn up plans to designate certain roads in the area of its jurisdiction as having a 30km/h speed limit. According to these plans the following roads in Mount Merrion have been proposed for a 30km/h speed limit: The Fosters , Deerpark Road, Cedarmount and parts of Redesdale Road, Clonmore and Thornhill Road, Trees Ave and Glenabbey Road.
At a recent meeting of representatives of neighbouring resident’s associations it was decided to campaign for more widespread implementation of 30km/h speed limits in residential areas similar to that applied in Dublin City Council. On this basis a meeting is being sought by representatives of these associations with DLR CC to press for greater application of the 30km/h in their areas. The implementation of a 30km/h speed limit was highlighted at the inquest following the death of a child, Jake Brennan. The Coroner recommended that this speed limit be implemented countrywide in housing estates.
Control of Dogs in Deerpark
Following a resident’s query regarding dogs running free in Deerpark, Cllr. Deirdre Donnelly clarified the position with regard to dogs in public parks. The Environment Department clarified that that dogs must be ‘under effectual control’ in public areas at all times. This does not necessarily mean that they should be on a lead. The only exceptions to the rule are dogs considered dangerous (about 12 breeds in total) who must be kept on a lead and wear a muzzle. The term ‘effectual control’ means that the dog must be near their owner / minder and must come over to them when called. A dog warden has the authority to question this in any park at any stage. Cllr Donnelly has asked for a dog warden to visit Deerpark to ensure that dog owners are adhering to this.
Useful contacts: Councillors and Gardai
|· Liam Dockery: firstname.lastname@example.org (0864611624)||· Barry Saul: email@example.com
|· Donal Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org
|· John Kennedy: email@example.com (0877720794)|
|· Deirdre Donnelly: firstname.lastname@example.org
|· Carron McKinney: email@example.com
|· Blackrock community: Garda John O’Shea
|· Blackrock community: Sergeant Pat McDonald – firstname.lastname@example.org|
Do you lock your car at night? Are you sure?
Community Garda John O’Shea has requested MMRA to advise residents that numerous thefts occur from unlocked cars parked in driveways at night in our general area. Golf Clubs, sports/gym gear, tools, phones, iPads, laptops, tapes, coins, sunglasses and various odds and ends are being taken on a regular basis. The same guys might try 50 cars on a night and find one or two open, that’s all they need. So, please lock your car at night and ensure no valuable items are visible.
Over the course of the Summer more than 20 Residents very kindly volunteered to speak with neighbours about Planning issues, bring elderly neighbours to Planning meetings and to deliver Flyers to homes in their neighbourhood. We are very grateful for this assistance and not only has it made our task easier but this outpouring of support has kindled a whole new feeling of togetherness in the community. It is great. Everywhere we went over the summer months people were discussing Mount Merrion. One could detect the sense of unity. So, now that we have a short respite before decisions, outside our control, are made perhaps could start thinking of other things that could all do together. If you would like to assist with any of the Sub Committee activities please contact any of the members listed below.
Environment: Tidy Roads/ Best Front Garden Competition 2016.
Members of the Environment Committee of MMRA undertook to adjudicate the whole of Mount Merrion during the month of July. North Avenue came out on top again this year with Cypress Road runner up and Mather Road South coming in at third. There were some notable garden displays and this one on Mather Road south caught the eye of the judges! Residents must be commended for the ever improving standards with regard to maintenance of grass verges, hedges and the general appearance of the streetscapes. There was little sign of litter however instances of roadside weeds were noted and their removal would generally be appreciated. The flower arrangements and baskets installed by the Council earlier this year are maintained by them. They greatly enhance the environment and are widely admired and appreciated.
In the course of judging the Tidy Roads a tree survey was undertaken. We are in communication with DLRCC Parks Department concerning our findings.
|Kate Canning||Redesdale Road||Paul Curran||Wilson Rd|
|Tom Fahey||Cherrygarth||Niall Hayes||South Ave|
|Des Smyth||Greenfield Road||Brendan McManus||North Avenue|
|Emma McGrane||Glenabbey Road||Clare Kelly||The Rise|
|Donal Kavanagh||Greenfield Road||Pat Colman||South Avenue|