Work on construction of 1,500 houses in Old Court/Ballycullen areas commences

By Mary Dennehy

THE first houses since the amendment to the Ballycullen/Old Court Local Area Plan are this week taking shape, and are part of the delivery of 1,500 houses in the area over the coming two years.

In the original Ballycullen/Old Court Local Area Plan (LAP), which was adopted in 2014, a primary school was to be built after the first 200 houses (phase 1) were constructed.

Ballycullen housing development 21092017

However, due to two new primary schools opening in the Firhouse area and a need to deliver houses, the plan was amended after a public consultation process earlier this year – an amendment which was adopted by elected representatives on May 8 and came into effect on June 5.

The amendment provides for the provision of a ‘space’ for a school, primary or secondary, in the area rather than the construction of a school.

This has paved the way for the continued construction of houses, the first of which are now underway on a site across from Lidl in Beechdale.

Local Fine Gael councillor Brian Lawlor, who recommended that the amended LAP provide for a primary or a secondary school, voted against the amendment with a number of his Fine Gael colleagues on the council.

He told The Echo: “I welcome the housing but with better phasing and better infrastructure.

“I believe the amendment was brought in with no recognition of traffic management, or facilities like schools or shops and this is why I voted against it.”

However, Fianna Fail councillor for the area, Paul Foley told The Echo that the original LAP was “not going to be satisfied” as the new schools in Firhouse  removed the need for another primary school in the Old Court/Ballycullen area at this time.

“A primary school should have been built in the Old Court/Ballycullen area rather than the green space in Carriglea and this would have satisfied the LAP”, Cllr Foley told The Echo.

“This had a knock on effect on the LAP… and was halting any further development.”

Cllr Foley, who voted in favour of the amendment, added: “We decided that if there was going to be an amendment that we would include other changes that we had learned since [the original LAP in 2014].

“It was suggested that councillors come together with the best ideas and one idea that was included in the amended LAP was a traffic assessment report, which has already kicked in with the amendment.

“I do think that traffic is something that has to be watched but the responsible thing for the council to do is provide housing.

“This is one of the areas where housing can be built in our county alongside some locations in Clondalkin and Lucan.

“We all know the homeless stories and these are real people that we as councillors see every week.”

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