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86 burnt-out cars removed from site of planned new suburb ahead of project launch

A large-scale housing development could put an end to the site being used for anti-social behaviour.

LOCALS ARE HOPING the launch of a project to build over 8,000 new homes at Clonburris in West Dublin will put an end to the site being used for anti-social behaviour.

Plans for a new suburb, between Clondalkin and Lucan, and along the Dublin-Kildare rail route, are to be published this month, as the Irish Times first reported on Monday.

Cairn Homes, the largest landowner at the Clonburris Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), said it would be in a position to start building there next year.

The Clonburris lands cover 280 hectares. Different areas are in the ownership of various different private developers while around a third of the site is under the management of South Dublin County Council.

The area has become a black spot for anti-social behaviour in recent years – and locals reported a spike in cars being rallied and burnt-out by groups of young men over the summer.

clon The Clonburris lands cover 280 hectares. Source: South Dublin County Council

Horses were also being left on the land – and the My Lovely Horse Rescue group said its volunteers had been terrorised by having cars driven at them in a threatening manner when they went to feed and water the neglected animals earlier this summer.

According to the Council, 86 burnt-out cars have been removed from the site since the start of the year. 27 cars were removed on one single day in August. The local authority said the lands had recently been secured “to detract from the suitability of the location for the abandonment of horses and vehicles”.

Independent Councillor Francis Timmons said this week that barricades had been placed around entrances, and that – although there had been a number of attempts – no vehicles had been able to access the area in recent weeks. The horses had also been cleared off the site, he said.

“That’s part of the reason it makes sense to build on it,” Timmons said.

“This could be a great development, it really could help solve a lot of the anti-social problems. But if it’s not done right it could be a disaster.

We want to learn from the mistakes of bad planning and avoid the sort of problems that have happened in other areas in the past.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Many local representatives have given news of the planned development a guarded welcome – but cautioned that issues like transport and housing density must be addressed.

“One of my big issues is concerns around transport,” Timmons said.

It’s a lot of houses to put into the area without improved transport – but we can work through that with the Council.

The plan for the housing would be put out to public consultation next month, and councillors will be able to put down motions on how to proceed, Timmons said.

“If this is to be done in a way that also benefits the existing communities of Clondalkin and Lucan then it must be done right,” Sinn Féin councillor Mark Ward said.

A comprehensive public consultation process is the key to this development and I will be demanding that the Council conduct this as thoroughly as possible.
All stakeholders from the communities of Clondalkin and Lucan should be approached and given a complete outline of the plans to allow them to make concise submissions.

Ward said an affordable housing scheme should be included in the plans, and agreed with Timmons’ assessment that the Council needed to ensure past mistakes weren’t repeated.

The plan must ensure that housing is developed in parallel with infrastructure such as transport, amenities and schools, and commercial needs are met.

cars 27 burnt-out cars were removed from the lands in just a single day. Source: Daragh Brophy/TheJournal.ie

Former Labour TD Joanna Tuffy said a national affordable housing scheme should be introduced in time for the development of Clonburris.

“Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2015 requires that a percentage of the houses built at Clonburris will be Social and Affordable Housing,” said Tuffy.

However an affordable housing element might be absent unless the government steps in and implements a national affordable housing scheme without delay. There was previously a national affordable housing scheme in place but this was discontinued.

Related: ‘They sleep beside the burnt-out cars – we don’t know why. Maybe they get a bit of shelter from them’ >

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