Lack of amenities concerns residents

By Aideen O'Flaherty

SOME Citywest residents have claimed there is a lack of infrastructure in the area, and are frustrated that the money paid in developers’ fees for several large-scale residential developments in Citywest isn’t directly reinvested into the area.

The area is currently primed for a number of substantial residential developments, but residents have expressed concerns about a lack of amenities in the area, such as a library and a community centre.

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Citywest residents Zoe, Aaron, David and Nicola Fitzpatrick, Alison Sheppard and Wendy Lucas, with one of the many devlopments behind them, are concerned with the lack of amenities

Community facilities in Citywest form part of South Dublin County Council’s Local Area Plan (LAP) for Fortunestown, while sizable residential developments in the area have been granted permission or are currently under consideration by An Bord Pleanála’s fast-track system.

Corbally resident Alison Sheppard told The Echo: “The developers have to pay a developers’ fee to the council when they get planning permission, and we’re wondering why those fees haven’t been reinvested into Citywest.

“There’s no library, there’s no community centre. The population is growing massively because of all of the apartment blocks that are being built, but there’s nowhere for the community to get together.

“They have community spaces in some of the apartment blocks but it’s just a room. If we want to have a scouts’ den or Foróige in Citywest, there’s no community building that they could use.

“If the population keeps increasing, then I feel that the amenities should be there to match it.”

The financial contribution that developers who lodge Strategic Housing Developments have to give to the council, when they receive planning permission from An Bord Pleanála, varies depending on the cost of the application.

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One of the new developments in Citywest

When planning permission was granted for a 463-unit residential development on Citywest Road and Magna Drive last August, ABP paid €32,719.40 – 50 per cent of the developer’s application fee – to South Dublin County Council.

When asked about how developers’ fees are distributed, a spokesperson for South Dublin County Council told The Echo that the fees which are collected under the Development Contribution Scheme (DCS) “assist in the delivery of essential public infrastructure”.

They added: “Development levies form a cumulative capital fund to be applied to public projects, and as such levies received in respect of developments delivered within any one specific area of the county are not directed exclusively towards the provision or enhancement of public infrastructure in that area.

“Nonetheless, the public project list published with development contribution schemes are indicative and not exhaustive, so additional public projects required to meet changing objectives and priorities can be funded from levies received through the DCS.”

In terms of facilities in Citywest, South Dublin County Council provides a mobile library service in the area, however Alison said that as it does not have a space for people to study or attend classes “it does not fill the need for a proper library”.

The council told The Echo that the ‘Open to You’ South Dublin Library Development Plan 2018-2022 identified as priority actions the construction and opening of two new libraries at North Clondalkin and Castletymon.

They added that North Clondalkin Library opened to the public in December 2020, and Castletymon will open in 2021.

In relation to Citywest, they stated that they plan to identify a site in nearby Rathcoole for the potential development of a library “as a priority” this year.

“All we want is a community centre and a library,” added Ms Sheppard, who has lived in Citywest for the last 13 years. “It would be great for people in the area...these plans were in the LAP for a reason.

“The amount of housing developments in the area wouldn’t bother me so much if I felt the proper facilities were here.”

The council told The Echo: “A community centre for the Citywest area will be delivered in accordance with the Local Area Plan’s phasing requirements.

“South Dublin County Council are in advanced discussions with a third party relating to the provision of a community centre and an announcement will be made in the near future when these discussions are concluded.

“The current South Dublin County Council Development Contribution Scheme (DCS) 2021-2026 provides that levies will be applied to Fortunestown Local Area Plan community facilities.”

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