Frustrated residents want a compromise
Children and parents out protesting at the green space on Tuesday evening

Frustrated residents want a compromise

RESIDENTS of St Aongus’ Green have voiced their frustration at plans for an older persons’ housing development at a green space in the estate being passed at a recent council meeting, and are calling for the development to be relocated.

As reported in The Echo last month, a motion for the deferral of the Part 8 for the 12-unit social housing project for independent living for older people at St Aongus in Tallaght was defeated, by a vote of 17 councillors against and 16 in favour.

This has led to anger among residents, who had hoped that a deferral of the plans might have allowed them the opportunity to suggest an alternative site near the estate to South Dublin County Council.

John McBride, who has lived in St Aongus’ Green for over 20 years, told The Echo: “We engaged in the Part 8 planning process, which we felt was brought on at very short notice.

“We had six weeks to produce a submission to raise our concerns about it.”

The requirement for a Part 8, which was followed by the council, means citizens have six weeks from the lodgment of plans for a Part 8 development during which they can lodge submissions on the plans.

A total of 17 submissions were received during the course of the public consultation period for the development, however the fact that the motion for a deferral was defeated means the plans are likely to go forward as is.

Mr McBride added: “There were 17 submissions, and none of us had any objections to the development itself, but the location of it will take over the entire green space that’s beside our houses.

“I wouldn’t say that any of us have welcomed the plans with open arms, but the concern is that is an element of green space that is needed for the children and grandchildren of residents to play in.

“It’s an amenity that’s used and maintained by the locals. Kids have bouncy castles there for their birthdays, we use it for Halloween and one of the residents cuts the grass there.

“There’s a sense of security down this end of the green.”

The residents have proposed that the development should be moved to a wider green space further up from St Aongus’ Green, which has on occasion been the site of anti-social behaviour, such as burnt-out cars and bonfires.

Developing the older persons’ housing there, according to the residents, could quell the anti-social behaviour in that location and would be a more suitable environment.

“I understand the need for housing,” said Mr McBride, “but we’re already densely packed in the estate.

“If I’m in my kitchen, I can see other people’s bedrooms. If I’m in the bedroom, I can see other people’s kitchens.

“If this goes ahead it will be within eight metres of the front of my house; I’d have somebody’s house at my door.

“It’s a development that we know is needed, but it’s getting shoehorned in without any consideration for the residents.”

As the motion for a deferral fell at the council meeting, the St Aongus’ Green Part 8 then went to a full vote and was approved, with 28 councillors voting in favour, four against, while two abstained.

“We’re happy for the development to go ahead, but what we’ve asked for is a compromise so we don’t lose everything that’s in front of our doorstep,” said Mr McBride.

“I’m quite happy for them to build a development for the elderly – but not at any cost.”

As the plans were approved at the council meeting, the development will be able to proceed at the site earmarked by the council.

‘I don’t make these decisions lightly’ councillor says after deferral decision

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