Q&A – Why is it important to proceed with village plans?
The Echo asked two representatives Labour Cllr Joanna Tuffy and Michael Boyle, Lucan Village Pharmacy, and Secretary Lucan Village Business and Services Group, the same five questions in relation to the council’s Part 8 proposals for Lucan Village.
1 – Why is it important to proceed/not proceed with the Part 8 proposals, as they currently stand, for Lucan Village ?
2 – Cllr Tuffy says there is an “organised campaign” by businesses in the village, and a “misinformation campaign” with regard to information circulated in the village, including leaflets citing the potential loss of 60 parking spaces.
3 – Cllr Tuffy fears the “silent majority” have not had their voices heard during the process to date, including young people, people in wheelchairs, people who cycle, and people who don’t have cars.
4 – According to an economic report prepared on behalf of Lucan Village businesses, it is estimated over €8m will be lost in revenue in the village and 320 job losses, should the present proposals proceed. Is it worth proceeding with the project ?
5 –South Dublin County Council say there will be a net loss of 11 parking spaces in the Village Green area, and that there is provision for an additional 10 spaces within 100 metres of Main Street. Is this a reasonable loss of spaces?
Michael Boyle, Lucan Village Pharmacy, Secretary of Lucan Village Business and Services Group
1 – This plan should not proceed as it has the potential to rip the heart out of the village and destroy what is a vibrant and bustling town centre. There was a complete lack of consultation by South Dublin County Council in drawing up this plan and, as a result, it fails to address the critical issues of parking and traffic in the village.
2 – All stakeholders, including Joanna Tuffy, have run organised campaigns in relation to this proposal. Her claim of misinformation being spread is false. Anne McGelliot, a director of Hughes Planning and Development Consultants (HPDC), independently reviewed the council’s plans (Oct 2021) for the village and concluded that up to 60 parking spaces could be lost from Main Street.
3- Councillors have confirmed that this proposal has received over 7,000 submissions, a record breaking number. It is clear from reading the online submissions that the old, the young, the sick and the infirm have all made clear objections to this plan. The council need to listen to these thousands of voices who have sent a clear message.
4 – No village economy can sustain a financial loss of this magnitude. Moreover, this plan also threatens access to vital healthcare services which are already severely oversubscribed. All stakeholders, including us, would love to see the Village improved but not at any cost. A better plan with improved consultation by South Dublin County Council is the only way forward.
5 – According to independent experts, these figures are incorrect. 24 spaces out of 40 will be lost under this proposal. Of the 16 remaining, zero parking spaces will be available before 11am. On the additional 10 spaces, 6 are replacement spaces removed in the last 18 months and the 4 spaces outside AIB are simply not feasible or safe.
South Dublin County Council Cllr Joanna Tuffy (Lab)
1 – Because the improvements in the Part 8 will restore Lucan Village to its origins when the Main Street was a street, and not just a car park. The Village Green will be a genuine Village Green again where one side of Main Street can be seen from the other side.
2 – Misinformation about the potential loss of 60 parking space influenced many residents who sent in objections to the loss of parking spaces. However that is water under the bridge and my objective as a councillor from now is to improve the plan, including by identifying new parking spaces to offset ones being taken away.
3- Those who object are more likely to speak out. There was no campaign by businesses on behalf of children, wheelchair users, or cyclists, for whom the Main street in its current layout is not safe. There are also residents who get to the village by bus, who should be considered.
4 – Can the business group explain how some of its members expanded their own businesses by reducing the amount of their private parking spaces, without the loss of millions of euro and hundreds of jobs? Last year one local business applied for permission to build apartments on its customer car park.
5 – I believe we can reduce the net loss of parking spaces further, as part of the proposals, by finding more additional and new spaces, that are close to the centre of main street, to offset those being removed and I welcome any suggestions from the business community in that regard.