Residents voice concerns over improvements to N81

By Aideen O'Flaherty

RESIDENTS of Raheen Drive in Tallaght have voiced concerns about a potential increase in anti-social behaviour and burglaries if a walkway is constructed along the back of their houses as part of the N81 landscape improvement scheme.

The landscape improvement scheme will run along the N81 from the junction with the N82 (Citywest Road) to the M50 and down as far as the junction with Templeogue.

Bypass Sean Walsh Park 31 January 2017

The plans were open to public consultation in recent weeks, with 12 submissions received by the council.

A number of proposed works outlined as part of the scheme include a new speed-reducing traffic table and pedestrian crossing at the Old Bawn Road, the upgrading and realignment of the junction of the N81 with the Old Bawn Road and the upgrading and realignment of the cycle track along the N81 from Cookstown Way to Belgard Square South.

It is also proposed that there should be two separate linear parks as part of the landscape improvement, with one leading from the Fortunestown Road to Maplewood, while another one will lead to the south of Whitestown stream from the Old Bawn Road to Avonbeg Road.

Speaking about the proposed work, Tara De Buitléar, PRO for Tallaght Community Council, told The Echo: “It’s an important project for Tallaght, the bypass has remained pretty much the same for the past 20 years.

“We very much support the focus and investment being put into the N81.”

Ms De Buitléar further commented about the interaction between wildlife and the proposed works, stating: “We believe that man and wildlife should be able to cohabitate in an urban area.

“The more that people interact with nature the more they understand, value and respect wildlife.”

There is also a proposed new path location which would run along the rear wall of Raheen Drive, with newly planted trees separating the walkway from the N81.

As part of the Part 8 public consultation process, a number of Raheen Drive residents stated in their submissions that the construction of a new pathway running along the back of their houses could lead to an increase in crime, and may decrease household privacy as people using the path would be able see into the residents’ kitchens.

Residents also believe the potential for noise and light pollution would be largely increased by the walkway, with particular concerns raised over noise caused by people using the walkway late at night while walking home from nightclubs and pubs.

Ms De Buitléar said that Raheen Drive residents “do have concerns that bringing a footpath closer to their house would be negative, and we respect their views.”

Ms De Buitléar added that she believes there is “scope to accommodate” the residents’ concerns, and that she hopes a “happy medium” be reached.

To view submissions and details visit the council’s website, at https://consult.sdublincoco.ie/en/node/189/submissions.

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