Submission on Dundrum Local Area Plan

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is developing Local Area Plan for Dundrum.

An ‘Issues Paper’ has been prepared to give a broad overview of the main development issues facing Dundrum and to stimulate public debate on what matters should be considered in the new LAP. The Issues Paper can be viewed here.

Catherine Martin T.D., and myself have made the following submission to the process on behalf of Dublin Rathdown Green Party.  Download PDF Version here

Submission to Dundrum Local Area Plan pre-Draft consultation

Catherine Martin TD

Councillor Daniel Dunne

Green Party/Comhaontas Glas

December 14th 2018

The new Dundrum Local Area Plan is a fantastic opportunity to improve the civic, cultural, social and entrepreneurial elements of Dundrum, focused around sustainable, environmentally-friendly living.

The two major issues of concern in the areas covered by the draft Local Area Plan boundary are the Dundrum Main Street area including Dundrum Town Centre, and the Central Mental Hospital site – which is due to be redeveloped with more than 1,500 residential units in the coming years once the hospital is relocated to its new site in Portrane.

Focusing primarily on these two issues, we have also commented on several other minor and general issues.

  1. Dundrum Main Street and village centre

The Green Party believe that there is potential to add to the existing community and civic facilities and spaces in Dundrum village and we strongly support the work of the Imagine Dundrum group and their visualisation of what Dundrum could look like with additional community and civic spaces, and the development of Dundrum Main Street and the area down to the old Dundrum shopping centre in a manner that creates a truly thriving village centre with a good mix of civic, community, social and commercial aspects.

The provision of the following community facilities would be hugely beneficial.

  1. A pedestrian friendly civic open space/plaza on Main Street, along the lines that have been suggested by the Imagine Dundrum group.
  2. A civic centre for Dundrum, providing civic, community and cultural uses for local residents, community groups and the communities surrounding Dundrum. Given the transport, commercial and community significance of the Dundrum village for the entire local area of Dundrum and beyond, the provision of a civic centre would be of benefit a wide portion of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County.
  3. An improved library. If expansion of the current building is impossible due to flooding risks or other concerns, or the inclusion of a new library in the civic centre would be desirable.
  4. A gallery/art/craft space as there is currently no space in Dundrum for crafters and artists to display their wares. A pop-up shop-type arrangement somewhere in Dundrum would allow local artists and crafters to display their wares, while also creating a social and community space for the local artistic community. It is essential that this be provided as a community and social rather than commercial space, and could be tied in with local educational institutions providing courses in these areas.
  5. Cycle-friendly Dundrum Main Street – there is currently very little cycling parking on Dundrum Main Street, and the narrowness of the street combined with the lack of cycle lanes on the street make it a dangerous road to cycle along. The provision of extra cycle parking at key places along Main Street, as well as the investigation of the provision of cycle lanes and wider footpaths along the street would help the village move towards the pedestrian and community-focused vision that Imagine Dundrum have put forward.
  6. Central Mental Hospital site

The Green Party strongly welcome that this site will be developed for housing once the hospital is relocated, bringing much needed housing and an opportunity for addition to our local community, but feel that a number of key points have to be made:

  1. Any residential development must insofar as possible promote affordable housing retained in public ownership through a universal public cost-rental housing model providing secure, affordable housing for a diverse community of residents.

This would provide much-needed housing for the local area, while also ensuring public ownership of the land as much as possible, to avoid large-scale sales of private development for buy-to-let purposes – as has occurred Fernbank in Churchtown.

  1. In all aspects of the future development, engagement with local residents, community groups and other organisations is absolutely essential and must be prioritised before any development takes place.
  2. When it comes to the issue of access to and through the future development, access and permeability for cyclists and pedestrians is vital and must be prioritised.
  3. The new residential development would greatly increase the pressure on local services, and this would have to be catered to. This will particularly be the case in relation to transport – increased pressure on the Luas, as well as traffic on the Dundrum Road. The upgrading of capacity on the Luas line as suggested by the Green Party in our submission to the Metrolink consultation (can be accessed here: , combined with the provision of safe, alternative transport options such as cycling and walking should be prioritised.

The focus has to be on keeping cars off the already very narrow and busy Dundrum Road wherever possible by focusing on cycling and walking alternatives, and linking to the proposed Dodder Greenway through a walking and cycle route along the Slang River should be explored to provide nearly unbroken cycle access to town. Further, making the Dundrum Road itself cycle and pedestrian-friendly would increase the alternative transport options available to current and future residents.

  1. The green area between Rosemount and the Central Mental Hospital provides a perfect opportunity, by removing the wall in the construction of any new development, to greatly expand the green and recreational space for the local community. The addition of a playground (there currently existing no playground within the draft boundary of the LAP), a multi-use games area, an indoor community space and other leisure and recreational facilities would be greatly beneficial.
  2. Preservation of the frontage of Victorian stone buildings as much as possible and preservation of some part of the existing wall of the facility would be important for local heritage.
  3. Parks and other recreation
  4. While many issues related to green spaces have been dealt with in relation to the two major areas (Central Mental Hospital and Dundrum Main Street) outlined above, the Council must seek to ensure that for any new housing developments the requisite green space requirement is retained on site instead of the provision of capital contributions to local parks. Further, the retention of parks and greens spaces in public ownership (particularly those close to schools) is something which the Council should work closely with stakeholders and central Government on.
  5. Roads and other transport
  6. Pedestrian crossings on the Dundrum Road – this particularly narrow and frequently busy road can be quite dangerous for pedestrians to cross, and despite being quite a long road there are limited crossing points.
  7. Access across the Dundrum bypass for pedestrians and cyclists from the Sweetmount area is an issue which needs to be explored, as currently the bypass creates a barrier which can only be crossed at the bridge over the bypass or at Dundrum library. Something akin to Imagine Dundrum’s vision of a plaza extending over the bypass is an ideal solution in the long-term, but in the meantime short-term solutions should be explored.
  8. Buses – the proposed BusConnects network redesign will increase the number of buses travelling down Dundrum Main Street; where possible, these should be redirected on to the bypass as much as possible.
  9. Housing
  10. Socially diverse local communities located in well-planned development can foster a sense of place, pride, security and neighbourliness. Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 provides mechanisms that can assist in achieving this objective. As a matter of policy, we strongly believe that for this to work, land or housing units acquired under Part V must be located within the proposed development, rather than elsewhere in the County.