Free Zoo passes to compensate families for loss of green space

DUBLIN City Council are handing out free passes to Dublin Zoo to compensate residents for the loss of green space during construction works for a new rapid build development in Cherry Orchard.

However, not all residents are happy with the offer.

Marie May 02

Marie May and Jackie Flood and baby Christi Dunne

“It’s disgraceful, I won’t be going to the zoo,” said Marie May, a long-term resident of Elmdale Crescent.

“We asked could we go to Funtasia Waterpark in Drogheda, but they said there was too many in our family. I live with my daughter and her four young kids. My daughter is my carer. It is costing them nothing for the tickets.”

Work began on the Elmdale development in 2017, and was due to finish in late 2018. Initial plans for 53 rapid build homes were increased to 72 when the city council decided to build an additional 19 homes adjacent to the site – nine of these linked to Elmdale Crescent.

During the early stages of construction, DCC hired an industrial cleaner to clean dirt off the road after complaints from residents.

Elmdale Crescent residents previously spoke out about their shock at discovering the cul-de-sac was to be opened up as part of the new development.

“We weren’t told that at the beginning and we were told it was 53 houses not 72,” said Marie.

“When I bought the house I didn’t think it would be overlooked. We have all this dust on the road, the cars, the windows of the house. I’m getting over lung cancer and have COPD.

“Kids here have nowhere to play. They were promised a playground but the council are trying to pull the wool over our eyes. They won’t correspond with me. It used to be a nice quite estate, our kids played on the road, but traffic to the site is going in and out all the time.”

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said: “120 family passes have been distributed to families in the Elmdale Park, Drive, Crescent and Cherry Orchard Green areas, along with 20 individual adult passes and 20 individual children passes at a total cost €4,480.

“91 Passes have been issued to date. Our Architects sections are finalising details and we will then be ready to facilitate the allocation of first 19 Units ( 11 x 2 bedroom and 8 x 3 bedroom).

According to a recent area manager’s report, 120 family day passes along with individual adult and child passes to Dublin Zoo were purchased to “compensate residents for the loss of their green space for the duration of the works.”

Zoo passes are to be distributed by staff in the Cherry Orchard Equine Centre to families in the Elmdale area.

DCC said there have been over 300 expressions of interest for the additional 19 units.

The report said there was no further update in relation to the timeframe for the new housing units in Elmdale.

“The Ballyfermot area office is awaiting confirmation from the Architects Section that the paperwork is in order and that the keys can be collected. All prospective tenants have viewed the (19) units and upon expressing their interest in the units, have been issued with a letter of offer.

“As with the previous rapid build units in Cherry Orchard, we will set up interviews with MABS, Citizen information, the Community Welfare Officer and on this occasion, we are arranging for a restorative practice development worker to meet with prospective tenants before they sign for their tenancies.”

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