Residents up in arms over developer’s footpath plan

By Aideen O'Flaherty

RESIDENTS of the Kingswood Castle estate are up in arms over a developer’s plans to remove a boundary wall and coniferous trees at a greenspace in their estate, to make way for a footpath and cycle lane leading into a new 15-unit housing estate that is currently in development.

Developer Jackie Greene Construction Ltd secured planning permission for the development of 15 houses at a site bounded by Kingswood Castle to the east, Ballymount Park to the north, and Ballymount Road to the south, from An Bord Pleanála last year, after South Dublin County Council refused permission.

Kingswood compressor

The trees and boundary wall in Kingswood Castle estate

The council refused permission for the development on a number of grounds, including the view that “the removal of existing well-established and well-utilised public open space in the Kingswood Castle development is not acceptable” with reference to the developer’s original plans to construct a road and footpath from the new development to Kingswood Castle.

The developer later lodged a successful appeal against the council’s decision, where the developer altered their plans so that the two estates would be connected by a footpath and cycle path, instead of a road.

The new development backs onto the Kingswood Castle estate, which is a cul-de-sac, and as part of the planning permission that was granted by An Bord Pleanála, permission was also granted for the development of a footpath and cycleway between the two estates.

Last week, some residents in the area confronted workers who arrived with chainsaws to cut down the trees, however the removal of the trees was postponed because of the residents’ intervention.

Kingswood Castle resident, John Black, told The Echo: “I don’t know why 15 houses would need a cycle path coming  through our estate.

“Nobody’s happy about this. There are 75 houses in Kingswood Castle, and 40 people from the area lodged objections to the plans [when they were under consideration by the council].

“The residents haven’t been informed properly about this and have been speaking to local politicians as they call to the doors to see what we can do.

“So far, we haven’t heard anything concrete from anyone.

“Ours is a quiet estate with lots of children whose families rely on the green and low traffic for safety. If they take away our trees and boundary wall, we’ll lose that.

“These new houses have a separate road and access to the park and so we feel there is simply no good reason to change our entire estate to facilitate this one builder.”

A spokesperson for Jackie Green Construction Ltd told The Echo that the removal of the trees and the boundary wall is being carried out in accordance with the planning permission that they have received, and that the removed trees will be replaced with native trees.

The new development, which will be called Kingswood Mews, is currently being developed and is expected to be launched in early Spring.

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