I have made a planning appeal in relation to the application to demolish and replace the Deer Park Hotel. I agree with the appropriateness of the existing hotel use and with the renovation of the hotel. The appeal focuses on three issues:
Sustainability assessment of demolition and reuse
Access and permeability by foot
Support for FIngal’s decision to refuse a large new access road
The Fingal Councillors have written to the Chief Executive asking her to apply for the lifting of the stay placed on the enforcement notices issued requiring Dublin Airport to comply with the conditions of its 2007 planning permission.
I have been campaigning for some years for Irish Water and Fingal County Council, who are their agents, to make information on all sewage overflows publicly available as soon as they happen. I was particularly concerned when a number of years ago we were told by Irish Water that there had been no sewage discharge at a particular location only to find out some months later that there had.
Two aspects of the Fingal Plan are worth copying. First we advocate that minimum parking standards should be abolished from the planning system. The Fingal Plan does this for areas near public transport (which are effectively the entire developed area of Fingal.)
This is not abolishing parking entirely, it is that the planners will no longer require developers to provide more car parking than they want to, i.e. than they think the market is looking for. Our recommendations as regards car parking are informed by the work of planners like Donald Shoup and campaigns such as the Parking Reform Network. We are very conscious that minimum parking requirements have two significant negative effects. Minimum parking requirements reduce housing affordability, and it has been foundagain and again that removing the parking requirements enables the building of more housing. The cost minimum parking requirements imposes on housing becomes a subsidy which builds in an incentive to car use, contrary to our climate, health and quality of life goals for transport.
Secondly, we recommend that urban areas be designed primarily for walking, cycling and public transport, and that car parking be clustered rather than spread through out residential or mixed use areas as is often the case. We point to the provision of the Fingal plan providing for car-free neighbourhoods as a good example to be followed nationally. These recommendations are informed by positive experiences in pedestrianising existing areas and by the development of new car-free neighbourhoods in cities and towns across Europe and the world.
Following advice from the Planning Regulator, the Minister of State for Local Government and Planning has drafted a Direction to Fingal County Council to delete a provision about noise insulation included in the Plan. The Draft Direction is open to public consultation until Tuesday 2nd May 2023 at 11.59pm.
The 5 Green Councillors on Fingal County Council have made an observation pointing out that there is no legal basis for the draft direction and that the provisions were included to protect human health.
The objective, agreed by unanimous vote of the Council, specifies that insulation for homes affected by aircraft noise should achieve 40 dB Lnight, which is the standard recommended by the World Health Organisation to protect people from the impact on health caused by sleep disruption.
I have made an observation on Irish Water’s application to divert sewage currently running into the sea at Doldrum Bay in Howth into the system leading to the Ringsend sewage treatment plant. This application is late as is to comply with a condition of the EPA licence which should have been met 11 years ago. It is very welcome, but unfortunately Irish Water has failed to take on feedback about the impact on the local environment. The main issues raised in the observation are