Council recommend 27 social houses to be built on pitches

By Aideen O'Flaherty

OVER 1,300 submissions were received by South Dublin County Council during the public consultation process about plans to develop 27 social housing units on a pitch in Ballycullen Park, that is used by Knocklyon United Football Club, however the council has recommended that the plans go ahead.

The deciding factor for whether the development will go forward or not will be a vote taken by South Dublin County Council councillors next week.

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Knocklyon United grounds where 27 social housing units have been recommended by the council

The contentious plans, which initially sought for a social housing development of 42 houses, were then reduced to 32 houses before they were ultimately scaled back to 27 houses, have previously been blasted by the chairman of Knocklyon United FC, Donal Skelly, who said they “won’t work”.

Mr Skelly previously told The Echo that “there’s got to be a better site” for the development as the club “needs these facilities now more than ever”.

According to drawings of the development that were presented at a council meeting last February, Knocklyon United will have five small pitches in Ballycullen Park if the plans go ahead.

The pitches in the park are currently used by over 500 children between the age of seven and 12 every weekend for club matches.

During the Part 8 public consultation process, 1,102 of the submissions were from a template that was given by Knocklyon United FC to its supporters, 18 were individual submissions, 267 were online portal consultation submissions, while Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Geological Survey Ireland and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht all made one submission each.

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An artist impression of the plans

A number of issues were raised in the submissions, chiefly the loss of pitches and the impact this could have on Knocklyon United FC, while traffic and infrastructure, over-development in the Knocklyon area and suggestions for alternative brownfield sites were mentioned in the submissions.

In the local authority’s report on the public consultation submissions, which was circulated earlier this week, they addressed a number of the issues raised and recommended that the council adopts a motion in favour of the development going ahead.

In relation to the primary topic in the submissions, the loss of a pitch for the local football club, SDCC said the proposal “provides for formal additional and re-positioned pitches to accommodate the club while facilitating the proposed development”, and that they support the club through “pitch allocations at additional areas”.

The local authority added that Knocklyon United FC “are the second largest club in terms of pitch allocation in South Dublin County”, and that “every effort has been made…to maximise recreational and sporting use of this site in tandem with the delivery of much-needed social housing.”

Further to this, SDCC stated in their report that there are over 7,000 applicants on the Council’s Housing List, and that “a revised pitch structure at this location and the club’s aspirations for this location must be balanced by the Elected Members against the urgent social need for housing.”

In terms of traffic and infrastructure, the council said that, due to the size of the proposed development, any traffic from there “will form a miniscule increase to existing traffic on the M50 and local roads” and that the area is “well served” by a regular bus service and existing road infrastructure.

In response to concerns about overdevelopment in Knocklyon, the council stated that “this proposal is for 27 social homes at St Colmcille’s Way and is considered a reasonable density development in an area with extremely low social housing provision.”

At the conclusion of their report, the council said that the proposed development “is in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

They stated that it is recommended that the council adopts a Motion in favour of the development at next week’s meeting.

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