Group hire professionals to carry out village reports
Michael Boyle, John Smith and Danny Kenny

Group hire professionals to carry out village reports

BUSINESSES in Lucan Village felt compelled to hire professionals to carry out reports on their behalf, because they wanted their own empirical evidence to prove what many locals already know – parking is bad enough already and any reduction will negatively impact the village.

They also wanted to combat discrepancies in two separate parking surveys commissioned by South Dublin County Council, which were conducted in May and November 2021, and say there has been a lack of consultation with the council in the process to date.

The discrepancies in terms of parking availability and occupancy of spaces, according to businesses, reflects inaccurate data which is “misleading” for ordinary residents who may feel there is more parking in the village than what actually exists.

The Echo met a few business owners in Kenny’s Pub on Monday – Danny Kenny, John Smith, The Cartridge Expert, and Michael Boyle, Lucan Village Pharmacy and Secretary of LVBSG.

“They (council) are working on two sets of data. They are using one set of data when it suits them to minimise the number of spaces been reduced, and they use an entirely different set of data when they want to talk about the vacancy spaces,” said John Smith.

“Our survey that we commissioned pretty much corroborates the Tracis (SDCC) survey (November) in terms of the number of spaces. Where they differ is the occupancy level. Our cameras show there is a 100 per cent occupancy, somehow they manage to find only 75 per cent occupancy, so there is something not right there, and they were only done a week apart.”

Danny Kenny, proprietor of Kenny’s Pub says it is a “massively frustrating” issue for residents in the community.

“A number of local resident associations are against the plan because they see what this plan will do, is ultimately drive cars to park illegally around housing areas in and around the walking area of the village, which is absolutely going to be the case,” he said.

“Speaking to the local sports teams who use the village on a regular basis, for fundraising drives etc, they’ve objected to it. It is very much a consistent message. It just beggars belief they didn’t consult with any stakeholder groups before coming back with the initial drawing. That was where the biggest mistake was made. Realistically, the community should have been asked ‘what is required’ and I think that the first thing the community will say is, Lucan Village requires more parking and it requires a solution to the traffic problem that it has had for the last 20/30 years that is only getting worse as Lucan Village grows exponentially.”

According to the businesses research, based on requirements in South Dublin County Council Development Plan 2016-2022, Lucan Village would require 320 spaces for the village, which includes three village churches who have approximately 50 parking spaces between them.

Danny continued: “If you look at all the new housing up the far side of the N4, while they have a certain amount of services, they don’t have primary care services, pretty much all the doctor, counselling, physiotherapy services are in the village, the two pillar banks are in the village. All of those new houses in Lucan are using the village and they are competing for a completely inadequate number of parking spaces.

“If the banks go, if the post offices go, and if the primary care providers go, they are what multiply the footfall in the village. If you go to the bank, you go to other services. Once that reason to come into the village goes, Lucan quickly becomes a ghost town, and there will be loads of parking available because there will be nobody here.”

The proposals been linked by local representatives to Blackrock do not match up, as Lucan Village doesn’t have the same infrastructure, according to John Smith.

“Blackrock has already been bypassed a dual carriageway decades ago. It’s got two multi-storey private carparks, it’s got the Dart carpark, a Dart that runs every twenty minutes, it’s got an abundance of on-street parking, a high quality bus corridor, it’s incomparable.

“You want the end result which is Blackrock but you don’t have the money to build the Dart, or the shopping centres or the parking, but let’s just rip out the middle, and have Blackrock, I’m sorry it doesn’t work like that.”

Business owners in the village fear the smaller guys are seen as expendable to the local authority, citing planning permission granted to Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in December, which includes 900 car parking spaces.

“They literally got 50 per cent extra free parking spaces, seven days a week, as part of all the new development that is planned for up there,” said Danny.

“Yet here we are, local owned, multi-generational, small family businesses, trying to hang on to the hundred odd parking spaces that we have. At the end of the day, we are kind of disposable to the council and that’s how it feels.

“They feel if this goes ahead, sure it’s only a couple of local businesses and if people really want to do their shopping, they will go the Liffey Valley. And this picturesque village will be replaced by coffee shops and a lovely place to walk around, and that’s fine, but if that’s what they want to do they should say it and not hide behind spoof and destination towns and misinformation.”

“A destination town without a hotel or public carpark,” said Michael Boyle, in relation to Lucan been designated as a tourism prospect by Fáilte Ireland.

“If they really wanted to create a destination town in Lucan, they would look at places like the Italian Embassy, where there is acres and acres of ground, backs on the River Liffey, there is an old country house that could be similar to a Farmleigh.

“We know its not perfect, we’d love to see the village improved as an amenity, but at the cost of losing the most valuable parking in the village, it is simply unacceptable. It can’t be allowed to happen.”

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