Newlands Farm is hot topic in the community

By Éadaoin Ní Flaithearta

THE potential rezoning of lands at Newlands Cross and Gateway for the proposed development of over 3,500 residential units, to be called Newlands Farm, has been a hot topic in Kingswood in recent weeks.

The Echo contacted all 40 councillors on South Dublin County Council to ascertain whether they would support or object to the rezoning of the site, which is currently zoned for agricultural uses.

ECHO Belgard Fields 3 of 4 Photo Ben Ryan 1

Developers are looking to get the land rezoned Newlands Farm between Kingswood and Clondalkin

Hibernia REIT, the developer that owns the site, hopes it will be rezoned for residential development in the next South Dublin County Development Plan, for the period 2022-2028, which is currently under review.

Submissions related to the potential rezoning of lands will be accepted when the draft development plan reaches the public consultation period.

Following on from this, the draft plan will then be voted on by councillors who will ultimately decide whether the land will be rezoned.

The Echo contacted all councillors on South Dublin County Council, asking them if they were planning to table a motion for the rezoning of the lands for residential use as part of the County Development Plan, or if they would support a motion of this nature if it was put forward by another councillor.

A total of 13 responses were received, the majority of which stated that they would not table a motion proposing the rezoning of the lands, nor would they support a motion of that nature.

Guss O’Connell, Independent councillor for Palmerstown-Fonthill, stated that he had “heard the arguments put up by the community and reflected on all aspects” and as such would not support the potential rezoning.

Paul Gogarty, Independent councillor for Lucan, said: “I wouldn’t support rezoning given the large amount of brownfield REGEN lands nearby already proposed to be developed in a coordinated way.”

Newlands 1 1

An artist impression of the proposed plans

Peter Kavanagh, Independent councillor for Clondalkin, said that he would not “vote in favour of losing this valuable green space in our increasingly urbanised county”.

William Joseph Carey, Sinn Féin councillor for Clondalkin, said: “I would not be prepared to support such a motion as it is premature to discuss such rezoning ahead of the draft plan and the accompanying housing needs demand assessment being published.”

Francis Timmons, Independent councillor for Clondalkin, stated that if there was a proposal for rezoning, he would like to look at it in “overall terms of development of the county” and added: “There are a lot of houses needed: social, affordable and private, over the next few years and I wouldn’t put a blanket ‘no’ on it at this stage.”

Laura Donaghy, Green Party councillor for Rathfarnham-Templeogue, stated that the leader of the council’s Green group had submitted motions opposing the rezoning of the Newlands site, and stated that she was concerned about the “ecological cost” of rezoning the site, and added that Luas and road links are “at capacity”.

Liam Sinclair, Independent councillor for Tallaght Central, stated he would not support a proposal for the rezoning of the land, as it’s “a key piece of green infrastructure” and it should instead be taken into public ownership and used “to capture carbon while enhancing its natural beauty”.

Eoin Ó Broin, Independent councillor for Clondalkin, confirmed that he would not support a proposal for rezoning, as did Fianna Fáil councillors for Tallaght Central, Charlie O’Connor and Teresa Costello.

Carly Bailey, Social Democrats councillor for Rathfarnham-Templeogue, said she didn’t have a position on the proposed rezoning at present but added that it is “vital that we ensure that there is an emphasis on social and affordable housing”.

Cllr Bailey said she had many unanswered questions about the proposal, which she plans to get the answers to before making a firm decision.

Clondalkin Fine Gael councillors Kenneth Egan and Shirley O’Hara stated that the party would discuss the proposed development at the party’s group meeting later in the week, and as such didn’t have a firm view on the topic as yet.

Speaking on The Echo’s podcast this week, Deputy Mayor David McManus (FG) said he hadn’t made “a final decision” on it, as did Cllr Louise Dunne (SF), however she did say that, at the time of recording, she was “totally against it”. Cllr Mick Duff (Ind) said he would not support the rezoning of the land.

A council spokesperson told The Echo that the current Development Plan is being reviewed as part of the preparation of the new South Dublin Development Plan 2022-2028, which has passed the first stage of public consultation. A draft Plan will go on public display in July of this year.

The spokesperson added: “As part of the preparation of the draft Plan, an evidence-based assessment is being made of the current lands zoned for development.

“This assessment is ongoing and will identify the need, or otherwise, for any changes in zoning to accommodate the delivery of housing targets set by Government. The draft Plan will be put before the councillors for their consideration before going on public display this July.”

Other plans for the proposed works include the devopment of a new multi-purpose and multi-code sports hub comprising a pavilion and all-weather floodlit pitches to be used by local sporting groups, and the restoration of Whitehall House, known locally as Katharine Tynan House.

As previously reported in The Echo, three local sports clubs, namely Kingswood Castle FC, Kingswood FC and St Kevin’s Kilian’s GAA Club, joined forces to form a steering committee to outline their proposals for the sports facility aspect of the developer’s plans.

However, one of the three clubs, Kingswood Castle FC, this week announced that they were stepping away from and cutting ties with the committee and the wider development, saying that as a local club they could not “fully support the whole development of Newlands Farm in its entirety”.

Hibernia previously told The Echo that the development would provide “desperately needed affordable homes”, and they described the 144-acre greenfield site as “a major underdeveloped site”.

They added that, pending rezoning and planning permission, the site will be designed “to the highest international standards after detailed consultations with all stakeholders, principally the local community.”

By subscribing to The Echo you are supporting your local newspaper Click Here: Echo Online.

Prev Park is now a ‘no go’ due to intimidation by gangs
Next Businesses raise concerns over the €2m park project
  • Light House in Kilnamanagh gets decorated for Easter
  • Scrap yard fire Greenhills Road
  • A Happy St Patrick’s Day from Dublin Fire Brigade
  • Happy St Patrick's Day 2021
  • Food table in Tallaght

Will you watch the Harry and Meghan interview with Oprah?

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.