Monthly Archives: October 2006

Training in Committee Skills and Business Writing Skills available

Fingal County Council Community Culture and Sport Department are
delivering training  in the area of Committee Skills and Business
Writing Skills (details outlined below). This will be happening on the
21st and 22nd of November in County Hall. If you, members of your group
or any other local organisations are interested in attending either of
these courses, please contact Valeria McAllorum at  8905106 or 087
9051999 before the 10th November 21st November : 10am – 4pm   Committee Skills Course includes:
-Different Kinds of Committees and their functions.
-Legalities – things you need to know and implement.
-Understanding full parliamentary procedure and the law.
-Preparing agenda and keeping items on track.
-Using the minutes as dynamic and effective action tools.
-Common problems in chairing meetings. etc etc

22nd November :  10am – 4pm Business Writing includes:
-Best business writing skills and practice.
-Using business English correctly and overcoming wordiness.
-The message, the reader and the conclusion.
-Clear outlining and getting to the point – quickly.
-Structures, layouts, and styles for good writing.
-Designing first class business documents for the reader.

The Training will accommodate  10 – 15 participants. Participants will get a certificate and a booklet of course materials to take with them.

Implementation of the Energy Standards

With the applications now coming in in the Local Area Plans, the details of the implementation of the Energy Standards have to be fixed. I have sent the following suggestions to the Director of Services for Planning and the County Architect.

In discusssions internally and externally, the question of how to enforce the energy standards comes up. It is of course an executive function to implement the LAP, but I thought in the light of those discussions, and having had a look at the response to the AI request on F05A/1869 (Manor Park, Cappagh), I should set out my suggestions in case they are of assistance.
I think the best way to make the energy standards effective in the planning permissions is to impose a 2-part condition along the line of the following:
a) Before commencement of development, the applicant must submit a certificate from a qualified person certifying that the detailed design will meet the following standards:
A collective average reduction of at least 60% in CO2 emissions deriving from energy usage for space and water heating within the housing development, relative to a baseline of prevailing regulatory and design practice. This initial baseline of comparison is to be represented by the provisions of Technical Guidance Document L (TGD L) to the Building Regulations, 2002 using a conventional gas fired heating boiler with an assumed seasonal efficiency of 75%. The calculation is to be carried out for the time being using the Heat Energy Rating Method in TGD L, pending adoption of the official national methodology for determining energy performance of housing for the purposes of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

In meeting this CO2 performance target, the development shall include:
· A collective average reduction of at least 60% in energy consumption for space and water heating , relative to the baseline of existing regulatory and design practice and using the methodology outlined above; and
· A contribution of 30% by renewable energy supply systems to meet the collective space and water heating requirements within the housing development.
b) Before occupation of the development, the applicant must submit a certificate from a qualified person certifying that the building has been constructed in accordance with the detailed design insofar as compliance with the energy standards are concerned.
c) The applicant is advised to consult the energy related text in the Local Area Plan for the area.



Council taking enforcement action against lack of permission for Howth Junction train station

Fingal County Council is taking enforcement action in relation to the lack of planning permission for Howth Junction Dart station.  I’m pushing this because of the blocking of disabled access from the station to Fás and Baldoyle Industrial Estate.


Question :        Councillor D. Healy

"To ask the Manager to report on progress in relation to planning enforcement at Howth Junction Dart Station in particular the issue of disabled access to the Station from Baldoyle Industrial Estate?"


A letter was issued to Iarnród Éireann relating to their failure to seek planning permission for the works carried out at Howth Junction Railway Station.

In addition the concerns raised about the removal of an existing right-of-way from the central platform of Howth Junction Station to FÁSBaldoyle Industrial estate and particular the disabled access from the pedestrian access to the central platform.  No response was received from Iarnród Éireann.

A Warning Letter under Section 152(1) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 was issued on 19th September, 2006.  This letter allows a period of four weeks for submissions or observations to be lodged by the person served.

No response has been received and accordingly, an Enforcement Notice will be issued in the near future.

Accountability and Democracy Pt.II

An update on my recent post.
When the motion was reached we were presented with a legal opinion by the Manager.  This is the standard procedure when the officials are trying to prevent Councillors exercising power.  I attach a scan of the legal opinion below (about 3MB)

Metro route should include Ballymun to Baldoyle Line

19 October 2006
Greens welcome Dublin Metro route
– But Party will push for improvements before railway order is signed, including a link from Ballymun to Baldoyle

Green Party Transport spokesperson Eamon Ryan TD said today: "We
welcome the proposed routing of the Metro route in Dublin via
Drumcondra, DCU and Ballymun. By providing people with a high quality
public transport option quality of life will be improved for everybody
in the city. Our aim should be to make Dublin the best serviced capital
city in the world. That vision requires us to have a first class public
transport system."
"A lot of emphasis has been placed on the role of
such a line in servicing the airport, but it will also provide a
valuable service for Croke Park, the Mater Hospital, DCU and Swords.
revised route which will connect with the mainline rail station at
Drumcondra makes particular sense. However the Green party will be
looking for a number of improvements to the design before the railway
order for construction is signed."

These recommendations include:
1. The extension of the line to Donabate rather than Lissenhall, as the
proposed park and ride facility at Lissenhall will not bring
significant transport benefits and the rapid expansion of the Donabate
area urgently requires a public transport link.
2. The line should also be extended on the south of the city from St
Stephens Green to the Luas stop at Beechwood from where the old
Harcourt line could then be upgraded to Metro status. This would solve
the problem of excess demand on that line and provide proper
integration between the north and south sides of the city.
3. The station at St Stephens Green should be constructed on the
existing road space on either the west or south side of the Green to
avoid disturbance to the Green itself.
4. The construction of the Metro should be accompanied by the building
of a new light rail line from Ballymun to Baldoyle which could be
introduced in conjunction with the development of a new distributor
road being planned for the same rapidly expanding area.
"The Green Party in Government will ensure that the Metro is built to
budget and as quickly as possible, and that these improvements would be
included in a transport plan for the next ten years," concluded Deputy
Eamon Ryan TD: 01 618 3097 / 086 829 4429
Damian Connon, Press Office: 01 618 3852 / 087 228 1119

Notes from SAAO meeting 21mf06

Just informal notes taken at the SAAO Management Cttee of 21st October

Insurance discussion

Council is self-insured.   Council maintains certain walkways – lower cliff path, upper cliff path, old tramway
Cowbooter lane – may be maintained by Roads.

Liability re signs for right of way – if signs are put up directing people to a pathway then whoever put up the signs would be at risk of liability.

Liability re maintenance –

Paths would not be maintained as a road authority, therefore liability is greater.  If the council doesn’t maintain on a road it has no liability, but it is liable on open space.  Occupiers’ Liability Act – obligation is not to recklessly endanger.  

Council incurs no liability if it asks a landowner to maintain a right of way.  

Worst areas – path across 3 fairways at golf course, then paths on Muck Rock.  

Gerry – particular problem with Parks Division, difficulties with direct maintenance of particular paths.

Disclaimers have the effect under occupiers’ liability act – obligation is not to recklessly endanger.  Putting them up on areas not maintaining

Record of claims in Howth, only aware of one claim, trip on pathways, in just after SAAO order, claim against Council was dropped.  No successful claims against the Council.  

Cost of insurance – this would require a survey of the paths.  Could be very high if there isn’t maintenance

Mick – voluntary groups willing to do maintenance.  Main question is figuring out system of maintenance of paths.

Anita – SEMPA visit to Mournes, they use volunteers, were trying to get lottery money.

Gerry – Questions re volunteers – CVI working in Turvey Woods – if Council is relying on volunteers, Council would then have to ensure work is of a standard, and there would have to be insurance for workplace accidents.   Insurance/liability would not be a problem as long as they are under direction etc.  

Bob – Question what standard of Maintenance – me to Gerry – same as existing cliff path?  Yes – cutting back in autumn and path work as required.

Work in relation to Conservation Volunteers of Fingal started by Hans Visser, volunteer groups already active in some areas.

Parks to come up for costs for initial works and estimates for maintenance on list of paths identified by Hans, David Caulfield etc.
Looking at various options direct, contracted and volunteer labour.
Should be able to do within 4 to 6 weeks.

Any exposure to members of the committee regarding decisions it might make.  Covered by Council policy.

Anita – levies were supposed to pay for some of this.

Mick – trust could be set up asking for donations etc.

Volunteers inspecting routes as daily walkers.

Heritage Council Grants

The following information from Fingal County Council’s Heritage Officer:

As you may be aware, The Heritage Council’s Grants Scheme 2007 is now open for applications. Completed applications must be received by The Heritage Council, Rothe House, Kilkenny, by 3rd November 2006. Application forms are available from the Heritage Council’s website (see below). You can also make online applications (see Heritage Council’s website for details).
I also have a limited supply of application forms – just mail or phone
01-8905697 to receive one.

Please circulate this information as you see fit.



Gerry Clabby
Heritage Officer
Planning Department
Fingal County Council
Main Street
Co. Dublin
tel: +353-1-8905697

Agenda for Area Cttee Meeting 19th October

A meeting of Malahide/Howth Area Committee (Services B – Planning, Property and Economic Development, Housing, Community Recreation and Amenities, General)Baldoyle Library at 3.00 p.m. on Thursday 19th October 2006 A  G  E  N  D  A

Confirmation and Re-affirmation of Minutes

Minutes of Meeting of Malahide/Howth Area Committee (Services B) held on 21th September, 2006.
(to be circulated)    

2.    Councillor A. Farrell
"To ask the Manager for an update on the completion of landscaping and remaining works within Torcaill Estate, Portmarnock?"

3.    Councillor J. Maher
"To ask what Class 2 Open Space was designated by the local authority when the estate of St. Fintans was developed?"

4.    Councillor P. Coyle     
"To ask the Manager if the shrubbery adjacent to the path link from Wendell Avenue to the Spar Shop, Portmarnock, will be strongly cut back, given the reported anti-social activity at the location?"

5.    Councillor P. Coyle
"To ask the Manager if the boundary fence between the open space to the south of St. Anne’s Estate, Portmarnock, and the Sluice River lands could be checked for the safety of children climbing over (to retrieve balls), and a safer access facility be provided at this location?"


6.    Councillor A. Farrell
"To ask the Manager if the fence at the southern end of Gainsborough Green could be increased in height to dissuade persistent anti social behaviour?"

7.    Councillor D. Healy
"To ask the Manager to report on whether a Tree Preservation Order can be made on the woods beside Thormanby Woods Estate?"

8.    Councillor D. Healy
"To ask the Manager to report on the planning status of the fencing of part of the tram right of way in Howth which I first raised with the Planning Department on 9th August and to explain the delay in addressing this matter and replying to correspondence?"

9.    Councillor D. Healy
"To ask the Manager to report on the planning status of the right of way at Sutton Castle which I first raised with the Planning Department on 9th August and to explain the delay in addressing this matter and replying to correspondence?"

10.    Councillor D. Healy
"To ask the Manager to report on progress in relation to planning enforcement at Howth Junction Dart Station in particular the issue of disabled access to the Station from Baldoyle Industrial Estate?"


11.    Councillor A. Farrell
"To ask the Manager to outline plans for the Community/Council lands at Feltrim Road, Kinsealy?"


12.    New Works, Acceptance of Tenders etc.
                                        (if any, to be circulated)             

13.    Applications for Funding.
                                 (if any, to be circulated)


14.    Councillor D. Healy
"That the Manager report on the progress in relation to the needs analysis for Baldoyle and the proposals for a playground in Baldoyle and the all-weather facility for Baldoyle as in the 3 year capital programme."

15.    Councillor J. Maher
"That this Council immediately initiate proceedings to have the open space at St. Fintan’s Road, Sutton known as "Teddy’s Field" taken in charge under adverse possession as this area has been maintained and improved by this Council since 1986 and prior to that by Dublin City Council."

16.    Councillor D. Healy
"That the Manager report on the open space on St. Fintan’s Road in Sutton, in particular addressing the following:
a)     the history of the site;
b)     the ownership of the site;
c)     the planning status of the site
and that this Committee recommends that the necessary steps be taken to confirm or achieve ownership of the site by the Council."


17.    New Works, Acceptance of Tenders etc.

(a)     Report on Traffic Management Measures for Sutton Park, Bayside Walk,
Bayside Boulevard North, Alden Road, Verbena Lawn and Verbena
(to be circulated)

18.    Area Chairperson Business:    Councillor Peter Coyle
"That Dublin Bus and Iarnród Eireann be invited to attend a meeting with the Malahide-Howth Area Committee to discuss public transport matters."

19.    Correspondence.
     (if any, to be circulated)


20.    Councillor D. O’Brien
"That this Committee recommends that Dublin Bus provide a Feeder Bus service from Swords via Kinsealy and Waterside to Malahide/ Portmarnock DART Stations thereby further improving the public transport network."


21.    Application for Planning Permission and Decisions – Files requested by Members.
Files requested by Area Chairperson,
Files relating to the Malahide and Howth Electoral Areas,

22.    Files listed by Manager.
(if any, to be circulated)

23.    Howth Urban Improvement Scheme
                                  (report, if any, to be circulated)

24.    Correspondence.
(if any, to be circulated)


25.    Councillor J. Maher
"That this Council indicate if planning permission is required for mast erected on McFarlane Packaging premises in Baldoyle Industrial Estate as local residents are opposed to any mobile phone mast in close proximity to their homes."

26.    Councillor P. Coyle
"That the Manager report if there has been any progress in the Council’s taking-in-charge and maintaining the coastal promenade from The Green to the Cruzzo Restaurant at Malahide, given that the developers of Malahide Marina claim that this promenade has already been transferred to Fingal Co Council."

27.    Councillor D. Healy
"That the Manager take immediate planning enforcement action against waste transfer and sorting operations by Barnmore Ltd. or associated companies in Baldoyle Industrial Estate."


28.    New Works, Acceptance of Tenders etc.
 (if any, to be circulated)

29.    Proposed Disposal of Properties.
(if any, to be circulated)

30.    Correspondence.
(if any, to be circulated)


31.    Councillor P. Coyle
"That the Manager report on the plans and timescale for the further development of the Craft Courtyard in Malahide Demesne."

32.    New Works, Acceptance of Tenders etc.
(if any, to be circulated)

33.    Sketch layouts for proposed dwellings in the Housing Construction Programme  – Initiation of procedure pursuant to Part XI, Local Government Planning and Development Act 2000.

34.    Correspondence.
 (if any, to be circulated)


35.    Councillor D. Healy
"That the Manager report on the results of Fingal County Council’s proposal to the Department of the Environment to use high energy efficiency standards in the new houses beside Pobalscoil Neasáin."

Accountability and Democracy in Fingal County Council?

In theory, Councillors set the policy and the Manager implements it.  The practice is quite different. 

Take, for example, the proposal for a dual carriageway from Baldoyle to Blanchardstown, parallelling the M50 motorway and with flyover junctions in the middle of new residential areas.  This road is not in the County Development Plan and has never been voted on by Councillors. Yet already millions have been spent on consultants and a road design and Environmental Impact Statement is being drawn up.  The entire focus is on the impossible task of providing enough road capacity for this high-density development.  Public transport is being treated as an afterthought.

I believe that whenever the officials intend to appoint consultants, then the terms of reference should be brought before the Councillors.  The current system brings us the proposal at the very end of the process and expects us to rubber-stamp it.  At that stage most Councillors aren’t willing to upset the apple-cart and go along with whatever is proposed, even if communities are opposed.

Next Tuesday at the adjourned Council meeting, the following motion of mine will be discussed.  What happens to it will be of considerable significance for democracy in Fingal.

51. Cllr. D. Healy

“That the Council, in order to
have effective and timely input by the elected Council into the work being done
by consultants for the Council who are often preparing work which will lead to
decisions by the Council in exercise of reserved functions, in exercise of its
powers under section 138 (2) and (3) of the Local Government Act 2001 which
provide as follows:

“138 (2) Subject to this section,
an elected council or joint body may by resolution direct that, before
the manager performs any specified executive function of the local
authority or joint body, he or she shall inform the elected council or
joint body, as the case may be, of the manner in which he or she
proposes to perform that function, and the manager shall comply with the

 “138 (3) A resolution under subsection (2) may relate to any
particular case or occasion or to every case
or occasion of the performance of the specified executive function
and may define what information is to be given and how and when it
is to be given and the manager shall comply with the

 and noting
s.138(4) which provides as follows

 “138 (4) Nothing in this section
prevents the manager from dealing immediately with any situation
which he or she considers is an emergency situation calling for immediate
action without regard to subsections
(1) to (3).”

by this resolution directs that
in every case or occasion when the manager proposes to perform the executive
function of entering into a contract to appoint consultants he notify the
elected Council of the manner in which he proposes to perform that function and
that he do this by bringing the proposed brief or terms of reference to the
relevant Area Committee or Strategic Policy Committee as a headed item for
their consideration.”

Greens endorse NUI candidate for Seanad

Martin Hogan, a member of the Green Party, is running as an independent candidate for the NUI Seats in the Seanad. His campaign has the support of the Green Party.

His contact details are: 0879798630, email:,
9 Poddle Green, Kimmage, Dublin 12,