Residents still in limbo over parish community garden

By Maurice Garvey

LEGAL advice has been provided to South Dublin County Council regarding the disposal of land at Foxdene Avenue, Balgaddy, to Laurence O’Toole Diocesan Trust.

A contract issued on the terms of the disposal resolution was signed by the council and the Trust in 1998.

Balgaddy Community Garden 02 

However, unknown to residents until late last year, nothing was completed in 1998, and the land remained in the ownership of the council.

In February 2015, residents who transformed part of the site into the Balgaddy community garden, discovered plans by the parish to redevelop the Bush Centre and adjoining lands.

South Parish Pastoral Council issued flyers to residents detailing plans for the centre, which involved the removal of the community garden.

Approximately six women were accommodated at a smaller garden project, but this failed to meet the needs of the community, according to local sources.

A report at the recent Clondalkin Area Committee Meeting, detailed legal advice provided to the council in respect of two sites at Foxdene Avenue to Laurence O’Toole Diocesan Trust.

Legal advice said the possibility that members pass a resolution directing that the disposal should not proceed, “would amount to such an unlawful act which would expose the council to substantial legal costs.”

The acting law agent recommended the completion of the transaction “without further delay.”

Sinn Féin TD, Eoin Ó Broin, said the preference is for the Trust and the council to “agree to leave a community garden there” and not get involved in a “lengthy legal battle.”

Deputy Ó Broin said: “After the attempt by the South Lucan Parish to evict the community garden and put in a planning application for community development, we looked into it, and the disposal of land wasn’t completed. The Trust never paid the fees.”

Legal advice was first discussed with members at a Clondalkin ACM in November.

Ó Broin says the council are still waiting to hear back from the Trust, but believes there is potential in a revised plan that could see the Balgaddy garden land remain in council ownership at a “reduced fee” for the Trust.

 

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