Objections to hotel using laneway as access

By Maurice Garvey

RESIDENTS living close to the site of a proposed new hotel on the Naas Road, have scrambled to put together a submission objecting to developer plans to use a rear laneway as an access route.

Developer and hotelier Colm Neville, recently lodged plans for a 242-room hotel on land adjacent to the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel.

Naas Road hotel 1

An artist impression of the hotel on the Naas Road

While residents have no issue with another hotel in the area, they fear transforming Knockmeenagh Lane from a one way back road to a main road with delivery trucks and hundreds of additional vehicles, will destroy the “sense of community.”

Cormac McManus, a Knockmeenagh resident, kickstarted a petition, and says the response from residents in Newlands, Quarryfield Court, and St Brigid's Cottages is “100 per cent agreement” with regard to concerns over access on the lane.

He said: “This is a close-knit community in a highly sought after area, where everybody knows everybody, and their cousin.

But allowing a hotel to use Knockmeenagh Lane for access to the hotel will change all of this.

The street will no longer be safe for kids to play on, and the next generation will not know the neighbours two doors up or across the street.

Knocknamee Lane 02 1

The laneway

 

This is the way it works when you have a main road running through estates.”

McManus lives beside Round Towers GAA pitch in the estate, but access to the GAA grounds is from Monastery Road.

Residents say Louis Fitzgerald Hotel were denied planning permission by South Dublin County Council, to use a rear exit/entry, but if this access is granted, they fear the lane will be opened as a significant traffic route.

Danny Brown (46), a long term resident, whose kids are fifth generation in the area, is worried about the potential loss of “a quiet country road.”

“A hotel, we don’t mind it, it’s good for the economy, but it is about the access.

There would be buses and trucks. A lot of younger people have moved here in recent years with young kids. It would be an awful shame if access was granted for a hotel.”

Cllr Eoin Ó Broin (Ind), who supports residents’ concerns, believes the lane “should instead be pedestrianized to make a continuous greenway to the Monastery Road.”

He cited South Dublin County Council giving a “tacit agreement” for such a proposal, in a Motion he put forward at the Clondalkin area meeting last month.

In the response to the Motion, the council agreed Knockmeenagh lane would make a “quality cycle and pedestrian route.”

However, the council acknowledged an “unusual reason” the route is not ‘taken in charge’ and are currently investigating the land ownership.

For McManus and residents, they hope to have their submission in with the council by the Monday deadline.

“At this point in time we have visited 80 per cent of houses and obtained a signature from 100 per cent in agreement that the lane needs to be closed regardless of the hotel development getting approval or not.

The hotel will just increase the traffic fourfold. 

“The council needs to act in the best interest of the community and close this lane before there is a bad accident.

And if approval is given for the hotel development, I'm sure that accident will be sooner rather than later.”

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