Social housing units planned for Knocklyon United are scrapped

ELECTED members of South Dublin County Council have voted not to proceed with building 27 social housing units at Knocklyon United Football Club pitches.

At the July monthly meeting of South Dublin County Council this afternoon, 27 councillors opposed plans to construct houses in Ballycullen Park while nine voted in favour of the plans.

Knocklyon United 1

Knocklyon United Football Club.

It was the first full meeting for Mayor Vicki Casserly and the 17 new councillors who were elected during the local elections in May.

As revealed in The Echo last Thursday, more than 1,300 submissions were received by South Dublin County Council during the public consultation process about plans to develop 27 social housing units on a pitch in Ballycullen Park that is used by Knocklyon United Football Club, however the council had recommended the plans go ahead.

The contentious plans, which initially sought for a social housing development of 42 houses, were then reduced to 32 houses before they were ultimately scaled back to 27 houses, have previously been blasted by the chairman of Knocklyon United FC, Donal Skelly, who said they “won’t work”.

Mr Skelly previously told The Echo that “there’s got to be a better site” for the development as the club “needs these facilities now more than ever”.

According to drawings of the development that were presented at a council meeting last February, Knocklyon United would have been left with five small pitches in Ballycullen Park if the plans were to go ahead.

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An artist impression of the 27 social housing units that were scrapped for Ballycullen Park.

The pitches in the park are currently used by more than 500 children between the age of seven and 12 every weekend for club matches.

During the Part 8 public consultation process, 1,102 of the submissions were from a template that was distributed by Knocklyon United FC to its supporters, 18 were individual submissions, 267 were online portal consultation submissions, while Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Geological Survey Ireland and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht all made one submission each.

A number of issues were raised in the submissions, chiefly the loss of pitches and the impact this could have on Knocklyon United FC, while traffic and infrastructure, over-development in the Knocklyon area and suggestions for alternative brownfield sites were mentioned in the submissions.

In the local authority’s report on the public consultation submissions, which was circulated last week, they addressed a number of the issues raised and recommended that the council adopts a motion in favour of the development going ahead.

In relation to the primary topic in the submissions, the loss of a pitch for the local football club, SDCC said the proposal “provides for formal additional and re-positioned pitches to accommodate the club while facilitating the proposed development”, and that they support the club through “pitch allocations at additional areas”.

The local authority added that Knocklyon United FC “are the second largest club in terms of pitch allocation in South Dublin County”, and that “every effort has been made… to maximise recreational and sporting use of this site in tandem with the delivery of much-needed social housing.”

Further to this, SDCC stated in their report that there are over 7,000 applicants on the Council’s Housing List, and that “a revised pitch structure at this location and the club’s aspirations for this location must be balanced by the Elected Members against the urgent social need for housing.”

In terms of traffic and infrastructure, the council said that, due to the size of the proposed development, any traffic from there “will form a miniscule increase to existing traffic on the M50 and local roads” and that the area is “well served” by a regular bus service and existing road infrastructure.

In response to concerns about over development in Knocklyon, the council stated that “this proposal is for 27 social homes at St Colmcille’s Way and is considered a reasonable density development in an area with extremely low social housing provision.”

At the conclusion of their report, the council said that the proposed development “is in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

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