Calls for the reduction of utility boxes on Old Bawn Road corner

By Aideen O'Flaherty

THE location of over a dozen utility boxes at Brady’s Field on the Old Bawn Road in Tallaght has led a local community group to call for the number of them at that location to be reduced – and they have described the hedges that have been planted around the utility boxes as “cheap screening”.

The boxes, which contain telecom, traffic light controls and air quality systems, have been at the Brady’s Field location since 2013 and Tallaght Community Council (TCC) has raised the issue at several of their AGMs in the years since.

Bradys Field Boxes compressor

Utility boxes on Old Bawn Road at the corner of Brady’s Field

The community group said that the utility boxes were placed “with no regard” to the overall layout of the site, and that the hedging that surrounds the utility boxes has risen to such a point that it covers the Old Bawn rock feature that denotes the entrance to Old Bawn Estate.

“This is a relatively simple issue, but an acid test for the community voice – is it being actively heard by South Dublin County Council, respected and indeed acted upon?” said Liz Kennedy, voluntary Chairperson of TCC.

“Engineers regularly access the cabinets. Their vans park on pathways extremely close to this busy crossroads which causes an issue for pedestrians, and also a hazard to drivers at this unauthorised parking blocks sight lines. This creates road safety concerns.

“Better design is possible. Other areas close-by that host multiple utility boxes, for example in Aylesbury, have a better design.

“[In Aylesbury] the large boxes are neatly set back from the road and the visual impact lessened by better design.”

She added: “It is noteworthy to see the council have installed a new concrete plinth in recent days, 25 metres north of its current position, closer to the bus stop in Brady’s Field. 

If the council are moving their air quality box here, it is an ideal opportunity to show leadership on this issue.

“It’s an opportunity to show an active response to the community views on this issue by moving the box to a less visually obtrusive location on Brady’s Field, or tight to a boundary wall along the Old Bawn Road. There are a lot of options along this route.”

A council spokesperson said: “South Dublin County Council do not have plans to reduce the number of utility boxes at the junction of Old Bawn Way and Old Bawn Road.

“It is proposed to move an air monitoring station away from the junction.

“The majority of the boxes/cabinets are under the control of utility companies. There are also traffic light controllers and some air quality measurement equipment.

“A number of years ago it was decided to surround the area with a low hedge to reduce the impact. Any parking by contractors on footpaths or in the vicinity of the crossroads should be reported to [gardaí].”

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