Category Archives: Water / Uisce

Progress on link from Claremont Beach Promenade to Claremont Road

Subsequent to agreement at the Area Committee in 2015, the Council is now working on a design to link the promenade at Claremont Beach to Claremont Road, including renovating the public toilets at the beach.

This was the report to today’s meeting:

Howth Malahide Area Committee (Services A – Operational Matters)

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Councillor D. Healy – Fingal Coastal Way- Howth to Baldoyle. AI036624

“That the Chief Executive report on progress in relation to the following motion agreed at this Area Committee in April 2015:

“That the Chief Executive, as part of the Fingal Coastal Way, bring forward a plan for a pedestrian and cycle route from the West Pier along Claremont Beach promenade then by means of a boardwalk or other structure to join Claremont Road at the level crossing, continue along the right-of-way between the two sections of Claremont Road, follow Burrow Road to the level crossing and go down the right-of-way between Lauder’s Lane and also go behind Sutton railway station to link up with Baldoyle Promenade (thereby avoiding two level crossings), and that the possibilities for related improvements to the amenity of Claremont Beach including renovation/replacement of the public toilets provision of improved lifeguard facilities be included in this plan.”

Report:

Operations Department has employed a Consulting Engineering firm to carry out the following at Claremont Beach:

• A preliminary design and visualisation, with costs, for a boardwalk from the public toilet west, as far as Claremont Road.

• Outline design and costs for the foul water drainage of the public toilet. At present there is no foul drainage for the public toilet; tunnelling under the railway may be feasible.

• Advise on the rehabilitation of the public toilet (it is currently in a poor state of repair).

The Consulting Engineer’s Report is expected shortly and when to hand can be discussed with Committee members.

 

Arising from the report, the Committee agreed to my motion that the funding for this work be included in the Capital Programme.

Submission in relation to bathing waters identification in Broadmeadow Estuary

I made the following submission to the Public Participation in the Identification of Bathing Waters for 2017
Submission: Broadmeadow Estuary
Date Submitted: 27.01.2017 – 1:27pm

Unique Reference Number: CVQ-5169
Observations
Title: Broadmeadow Estuary is widely used for dinghy / small boat sailing, windsurfing and kayaking.

These are all sports which involve frequent contact with the water and therefore require water of bathing water quality.

Organised activities are based in Malahide Yacht Club http://www.myc.ie/, Swords Sailing and Boating Club http://swordssailing.ie/ and Fingal Sailing School http://fingalsailingschool.ie/.

All of these rely on the inner estuary. If figures on the numbers involved in these water activities are required for the assessment, please contact them directly to get the necessary information.
These uses are promoted on the Council-supported https://www.malahide.ie/visit.

 

Amendments to County Development Plan

Fingal County Council is currently preparing the County Development Plan to run from 2017 to 2023. The Draft Plan was on public display between February and April 2016 and a report on the over 900 responses received was supplied to Councillors at the end of July.

As Councillors we had until yesterday, 6th September, to draft proposals to amend the Plan based on the public consultation.  Those  amendments which the Council agrees to will go on public display in November.

I submitted amendments to a wide range of topics in the plan. A copy of my proposed amendments is here. In order to make them easy to navigate I have grouped them into the following topics:

  • On Special Amenity Area Order and Dublin Bay Biosphere Reserve
  • On cycle pedestrian routes to be added to the map
  • On public transport reservation from Clongriffin/Portmarnock – Balgriffin – Belcamp – Clonshaugh to metro reservations south of Dublin Airport
  • In relation to the Moyne Road bypass proposal based on discussions at the previous stage of the Development Plan and in response to submissions by the developer of the adjoining residentially zoned land and Portmarnock Community Association
  • On the zoning of the industrial estates beside Howth Junction railway station based on issues I raised at the previous stage of the Plan and a submission from a local business.
  • On the process for sub-county level plans based on the experience of Fingal councillors and citizens as well as submissions from public authorities including the National Transport Authority
  • Based on Fáilte Ireland’s submission
  • In relation to the circular economy and sustainable resource use
  • In response to the submission by Keep Ireland Open, Fáilte Ireland and others concerned with access to the countryside
  • Based on concerns about Fingal’s approach to open space in high density development, an issue raised both by developers and residents
  • On the transition to a low carbon climate resilient economy, a legal obligation of the Plan under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act and raised in a range of submissions
  • On adaptation to climate change
  • On Ecosystem Services Approach
  • Transport motions based on a range of submissions by local road users and public transport users and the NTA
  • Motion incorporating text from the Dublin City Development plan in relation to cycle parking as recommended by the submission from the National Transport Authority
  • In relation to cycling in response to a wide range of submissions seeking better and safer cycling insfrastructure.
  • Based on text in the National Cycling Policy Framework, to which some of the submissions refer.

Submission in relation to identifying Balscadden Beach as a bathing area

Fingal County Council, as required by EU regulation, consulted the public to identify locations where large numbers of people swim, so that the water quality at these locations can be tested.

Friends of Balscadden Bay made a detailed submission. I made the following brief submission:

Balscadden Beach is a historical swimming area in Howth.

It is heavily used by both local residents and visitors.

For the last two summers, at the request of local residents, Fingal County Council has sampled water quality at the beach and found it to be excellent on every occasion sampled.

Local swimmers use the beach every day throughout the year. Naturally it is particularly busy during good weather in the summer.

The beach previously had Victorian bathing cabins and has been visited by daytrippers from Dublin since the railway started in the mid-19th Century.

It is accessed by a public right of way from Balscadden road along steps provided by Dublin Corporation when Howth was within its jurisdiction. It is accessible by public transport (31 bus and Dart) and is near public car parking and toilets at the East Pier.

There is an organised swim and barbeque every summer by Friends of Balscadden Bay. This year, that will take place from 1pm to 4pm on Sunday 7th August.

There is also a long-standing traditional Christmas swim.

I attach some postcards/photographs covering the period from the late 19th century to July 2016. I took the most recent photograph myself.

1 balscadden postcard bw $_57 balscadden waterskiing  cleaning Balscadden Bay (FOBB)_1201Balscadden Bay Howth Saturday 16 July 2016

Where do you swim? Public Participation in the Identification of Bathing Waters

Under the Bathing Waters Directive and the Bathing Water Quality Regulations 2008 (SI No 79 of 2008) Fingal County Council must identify official bathing areas in our administrative area every year so that they can be monitored for safety, water quality and their level of use.

To help with this process, Fingal County Council is now asking people who swim at beaches and rivers to tell us if they think we should maintain the existing list of identified bathing waters and/or identifying any areas that are commonly used for swimming but not listed at the moment.

Among the popular swimming areas in Howth / Malahide Ward not currently recognised and tested as bathing waters are Balscadden Beach  in Howth and High Rock and Low Rock in Malahide. If you swim at these locations, please let the Council know.

To propose the Council recognise any well used beach not currently on the list or comment on an existing site please go to https://consult.fingal.ie/en/browse .

Meanwhile the occasional tests carried out by the Council at Balscadden and Ireland’s Eye happened again at the end of June. Both locations were identified as having excellent water quality. See results below.

Location Sampling Point Sample Number E. coli Enterococci Floating Materials Mineral Oil (visual) pH Phenols_Olfactory Salinity Surfactants Visual Inspection
MPN/100ml CFU/100ml pH PSU
(49934)  Balscadden Bay 27/06/2016  08:30 1163999 <10 <1 Absent Absent 8.1 Absent 33.4 Absent Normal
(49935)  Ireland’s Eye 27/06/2016  09:30 1164000 <10 <1 Absent Absent 8.1 Absent 33.5 Absent Normal

Response to consultation on draft County Development Plan

My response to the draft Fingal Development Plan and the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the Plan is here.

The main issues in my consultation response were sustainable development, climate change adaptation and mitigation, transport, car-oriented development, cycling, road proposals, aviation, building energy use, and renewable energy. A recurrent theme under many of these headings was the lack of actual assessment in the SEA report.

As Councillors, we will receive a report on all consultations responses in July and based on that feedback can submit amendments to the plan in August for meetings in September. I would welcome any feedback on the issues in my submission or on or any other aspect of the Development Plan.

“Sustainable Urban Drainage” in Malahide becomes dysfunctional hole dug in open space

IMG_3961The new development Coill Dubh (opposite Malahide Community School) is supposed to have a sustainable urban drainage system in order to prevent runoff from the development causing flooding in the area. The drawings are shown in the planning file (F12A/0242) which was granted by An Bord Pleanála (overruling their inspector who recommended refusal on pedestrian safety grounds.)

It seems that what has been built is in breach of the drawings. Additionally, the landscaping and drainage was required by condition to be finished before the houses were occupied and that certainly isn’t the case.

Below are relevant extracts from the planning application and the conditions imposed by An Bord Pleanála, followed by photographs of what the ‘open space looks like at the moment.Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 7.31.19 PM Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 7.31.01 PMScreen Shot 2016-02-27 at 7.35.26 PM  Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 7.29.54 PM  Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 7.28.33 PM

IMG_3960 IMG_3954 IMG_3953 IMG_3951 IMG_3950 IMG_3962What has been built is spectacularly different to the original drawings. It is public health and safety hazard and it is a disgrace that it has been put in the middle of a public open space. The Council’s Planning Department must address this immediately.