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Dublin: 3 °C Saturday 16 November, 2019
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Council plans to build houses on recreational area - and some locals are not happy

Lett’s Field is a green area – but not an official playground – in Clondalkin.

letts field Source: County architect

SOME LOCALS LIVING by the Letts Field area in Clondalkin say they fear the only nearby play area for their children is going to be built over.

A petition has been started against the proposed building by South Dublin County Council (SDCC) of in-fill housing at the field, which is located in Neilstown.

Around 100 signatures have been gathered so far.

A local councillor said that the council is limited in the space available to it to build new homes on.

Letts Field

The county architect’s report for the council says that it is proposed to build a 48-unit infill housing project on undeveloped lands at Letts Field.

letts boundary The boundary to the field

It also includes landscaping works to boundaries and a new park/play area.

The housing provision includes two-storey houses in terraces, or semi-detached homes with four two-storey units at the end of the terrace.

Annemarie Halpin, who lives in the local area, has started a petition against the plan.

She said she was not informed about the plans and was not told about any meetings.

“The area that they’re thinking of building on, it’s basically an open space,” she said.

But it’s really, really well kept. The people of Clondalkin look after it because it is used. It is used by clubs, football clubs, used by local people of the community for walking dogs.

She said that there is “never any anti-social behaviour” on the site and that “it’s safe to let your children over there”.

The council describes the area as a “low-intensity recreation space” in its proposed plans.

The site is located between Neilstown Road and Ninth Lock Road or a triangular piece of land bounded at the rear by a school, and a the rear of a small section of Wood Avens estate. A corner section of the site is in private ownership. The land currently used as a low intensity recreation space. Goal posts are evident but the pitch is not in registered as a placing pitch, nor is it in frequent use by teams. There are no formalised walking areas and the land is generally in use as an ‘open field’.
The school grounds, and some houses, are exposed with no passive supervision. This condition is particularly noticeable at night as the boundaries are exposed to entry with no public lighting available. The site is served by public transport, schools, and local facilities.

Halpin said that the nearest park attracts anti-social behaviour and is also far away from the Neilstown residential areas.

letts 2

“It’s putting a new housing estate in and taking away a green area. There will be nowhere for our children to play.”

“It’s really disappointing”

She said she is not opposed to the building of new houses, and realises there is a council housing list that needs to be attended to, but feels the homes shouldn’t be built on green areas used by the local community.

It’s really disappointing. I have nothing against them building a housing estate. This is about taking away space that is used by all the surrounding housing estates.

South Dublin County Council has been contacted for comment.

Plans are on view 

Local Sinn Féin Councillor Eoin O’Bróin said that the planning application was published on Friday of last week.

“The dilemma is we desperately need more houses,” he said. “There are 4,500 people on the waiting list for housing in Clondalkin and Lucan.”

“The difficulty is the only lands we own are relatively small tracts of green space. We need more houses but we don’t want to use all of the green space.”

Sinn Fein is currently consulting on this plan with locals and when it has done its full consultation, will formally make a decision as a party on its stance, and then inform the residents.

It wants to see if it would be possible to have a development on the site which has some additional housing but maintains access to the football pitch and some access for the nearby school.

The current proposal wouldn’t allow for that.

“We want to see what the locals have to say,” said Ó Broin. “There are very mixed opinions.”

The plan is a Part 8 development, which means that the councillors have the final say on the process. “Any decision on a part 8 has to be all 40 members [in agreement],” said Ó Broin.

The plan is on view at the council’s county hall and civic buildings, and on the South Dublin City Council site until 18 June. Responses to the plan must be submitted by 2 July. Cllr O Bróin encouraged people to get involved in the process and “not make knee-jerk reactions”.

- All photos SDCC 

Read: Dublin City Council still waiting on some funds for housing the homeless>

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