Measures to be implemented to deal with stream issues

By Mary Dennehy

PROPOSED measures to address issues of anti-social behaviour in the vicinity of the Whitestown Stream as it flows through Jobstown are expected in the coming months.

Ongoing issues with this stretch of the Whitestown Stream have been on the agenda of local councillors and residents for years, with illegal dumping and the burning of waste a regular occurence.

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At the Whitestown Stream in Jobstown last week

The stream and its parkland are also easily accessible to scramblers and stolen cars, with a number of burnt-out cars ending up in the biodiverse waterway.

Alongside contaminating the wildlife corridor, dumping and anti-social behaviour is impacting negatively on the wellbeing of the wider community.

At the March Tallaght Area Committee meeting, South Dublin County Council management presented an ‘initial report’ to councillors.

According to the report, the council carried out repeated inspections of the area between February and March of this year.

Among the initial findings, four locations were identified as primary spots for illegal dumping and the burning of waste, with dumping also taking place directly into the stream.

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At the Whitestown Stream in Jobstown last week

It has been proposed to examine if any of these locations or routes can be closed off, including any ‘hidden corners’.

In relation to vehicular access, the council said that in total there are 20 pedestrian access points into the area, all of which are accessible by scramblers – and which will be examined.

The council flagged the poor condition, from an aesthetic point of view, of the pedestrian bridge linking Bawnlea Avenue and Cloonmore Road.

It was also noted that sections of path are in poor condition and extensive areas of green space badly damaged due to the repeated burning of waste and cars.

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At the Whitestown Stream in Jobstown last week

The public lighting system in the general area will also be looked at.

Commenting on the report, Tallaght South councillor Kieran Mahon (Solidarity) said: “This is the first time we’ve seen a report that takes an overview of the whole area along the Whitestown Stream at Jobstown.

“It’s an area that should be a natural recreation area for thousands of people from the neighbouring estates.

“It is a key link for Cloonmore, Bawnlea and Dromcarra to the wider area and to local services.

“€2 million has been committed to transform the much larger area at Killinarden Park so a relatively small investment could transform the area at Whitestown Stream Jobstown.

“There is barely a tree or plant in the half mile stretch.

“The area is barren and needs to be taken back for community use.”

Cllr Mahon believes that the “important steps” taken need to be built on, with expectations in place that the council will come back with possible solutions and project costs in the coming months.

Believing more focus needs to be on the “right of the entire community to a clean environment and good local services”, Cllr Mahon is encouraging residents to engage with their councillors.

“At this point there is agreement among many of the Tallaght councillors that this is an important project, and that action is needed”, Cllr Mahon said.

“We’d encourage people to contact the council and local councillors from all parties and keep this on their agenda.”

In its report, the council said that there is currently no provision for a programme of works to address the issues identified.

However, the council said it “is intended that this process will lead to agreement on a set of measures which can be costed and considered through the budgetary process later in the year”.

The Echo contacted the council this week and asked what the next step was now that the initial report had been compiled.

A council spokesperson said that the next step is to present a further report to councillors “proposing measures which will hopefully resolve some of the issues in the area”.

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