NCT Centre plans get go ahead despite concerns

By Aideen O'Flaherty

CONTENTIOUS plans for an acoustic wall and revised opening hours at the Greenhills NCT Centre have been given the green light by South Dublin County Council.

As previously reported in The Echo, residents whose houses are at the back of the test centre said that longer opening hours would have an “unbearable” impact on them as a result of noise from the centre, and they expressed concerns about the efficacy of the proposed acoustic wall.

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Paul Murphy, TD with residents out a back garden over looking the NCT Centre last month

Applus Inspection Services Ltd, which operates the National Car Testing service on behalf of the Road Safety Authority, lodged a planning application with South Dublin County Council last October.

The company sought planning permission for the construction of a 4.5m acoustic wall, with cranked top to the back and side boundaries of the NCT centre, and also for revised operating hours that they previously received permission for from An Bord Pleanála in 2015.

The revised operating hours are 8am to 6pm on Monday and Tuesday, 8am to 10pm from Wednesday to Friday, then 8am to 7pm on Saturday and 8am to 5pm on Sundays.

South Dublin County Council granted permission for the plans on May 19, with a number of conditions.

One of the conditions includes the stipulation that the revised opening hours are for a period of two years, and that the centre will revert back to their previous opening hours two years from the date of the grant of planning permission – unless further planning permission is sought and granted.

Applus is also required to retain “a suitably qualified professional” to undertake a survey in the area surrounding the test centre to monitor the noise impact of the centre in the evenings.

Colm Lynch, who lives to the rear of the test centre on Tymonville Road, said residents were “quite disappointed” when they learned the plans had received planning permission.

When asked about the council’s stipulation for a noise impact survey to be carried out, Mr Lynch said: “From a logical point of view, the noise impact assessment needs to be done in the houses and the bedrooms of those most affected.

“A survey has never been done with anything pertaining to our houses.

“Even from my children’s room, we can hear people talking and noise coming from the test centre – it sounds like they’re right beside you.

“The noise issue pertains to the NCT centre’s neighbours in a private, residential setting. That’s what this is about.”

One of the other issues that residents previously raised is that they were not directly contacted by Applus when the plans were lodged, and didn’t find out about the plans in time to lodge submissions.

However, Applus erected a public site notice at the Greenhills NCT Centre on October 16, 2020, and also satisfied the newspaper notice requirement for planning applications by placing an ad in the October 15, 2020 edition of The Echo.

Mr Lynch previously stated The Echo wasn’t being delivered at the time as a result of the lockdown, and as people were advised to stay at home, they “weren’t going to go down to the cul-de-sac where the centre is and see the sign”.

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