Monthly Archives: December 2006

Howth Promenade Upgrade Approved

The amendments proposed by the Howth Promenade Renewal Group including representatives of Howth Sutton Community Council and Howth Tidy Towns and myself were all agreed at the County Council meeting today.  The proposal is now a major improvement on the original plan (which was already a good plan) and we can look forward to a fine promenade.
For the background on this see the previous report on this site:

Amendments to Howth Promenade scheme, agreed at the Council meeting of 13th December

A.    Put priority 2 (benches, bins and lights) as priority 1  (path resurfacing)and vice-versa.

B.    Put priority 4 (new paths) as priority 3 (landscaping) and vice-versa.

C.    Delete existing priorities 5 (removal of post and rail along Harbour Road) and 6 (resurfacing of old sea wall)

D.    Add a new priority 5: Landscaping of the areas east of the Car Park

E.    The seating must take account of the use of grassed area for pipe
bands, children’s play etc. and the resulting demand for seating facing
both directions.

F.    Bins to be sited near but not right beside benches

G.    That the Howth Promenade Renewal Group and the Department of the
Marine/Harbourmaster be involved in the selection of street furniture
and lighting.

H.    The material for the resurfacing of the promenade to be a
smooth-surfaced pebble/shell aggregate similar to that on Dún Laoghaire
East Pier

I.    The resurfaced promenade to be edged with stones, cobbles, setts, or similar, not timber.

J.    The resurfaced promenade to be level with the adjacent grass

K.    The Manager to consider the inclusion of LED lights set into the resurfaced promenade.

L.    The new paths to include

a.    a path leading from Harbour Road to the gap in the old sea wall giving access to the playground

M.    The tree species to be altered to be more varied including such
as Cordyline, Hornbeam, Tamarisk, Buddleia, Sea Buckthorn, etc.  

N.    A sculpture competition for Howth Promenade be held during 2007,
noting this will probably have to be outside the scope of the Village
Improvement Scheme.

O.    The continuation of the Promenade across the entrance to the West
Pier leading to the access to Claremont Beach to be included in the
traffic management scheme for Howth currently being prepared.

Rubber footpaths will save trees, prevent cracking and improve safety

>>UPDATE: Today’s meeting agreed to get a report in February on the potential for rubber paving and on the priorities for the footpath repair.<<

– Councillor wants to put a spring in the step of north-side residents

Green Party Councillor David Healy will today ask Fingal County Council to consider the possibility of using rubber footpaths in the Bayside and Sutton Park areas of North Dublin. Council officials are currently planning to remove many road-side trees which have cracked footpaths, but rubber footpaths are not susceptible to root damage and would save the trees in these leafy areas of the city. Cllr Healy, the Green Party’s General Election candidate for Dublin
North East, said: "Rubber pavements have been used in over 60 cities in
the US, as a way of solving the problem of dangerous footpaths that
have been cracked by trees. The rubber comes from recycled waste tyres
and is a much more comfortable surface to walk and jog on. It is also
much safer if people fall onto it.

"I believe that rubber footpaths will allow us to save the beautiful
trees that have been growing in these areas for decades while improving
the safety of footpaths. Rubber footpaths may be a bit more expensive
than concrete alternatives but they last up to three times as long and
are much easier to maintain and replace."

Cllr Healy’s proposal to deploy rubber footpaths in Bayside and Sutton
Park will be discussed during Fingal County Council’s meeting at 3pm
today (Thursday, 12 December) in Baldoyle Library, when the proposed
tree-felling programme for the area will be brought back before the
Area Committee.

Cllr David Healy: 087 6178852
Damian Connon, Press Office: 01 618 3852 / 087 228 1119

The following links provide further information on the usage and success of rubber pavements: USEPA, Washington Post, Washington Post, Rubber Sidewalks

Trees in Bayside / Sutton Park – Rubber paving the solution?

The Council is proposing a tree felling programme in Bayside and Sutton Park due to damage to footpaths from tree roots.   (See the report below.) I got the area Committee to defer this for a month to allow the public to express their views.  Meanwhile, I have learnt of the use of rubber paving (recycled from old tires) around trees, as it flexes rather than cracks with the movement of roots.  It is also a better surface to walk on and much softer if someone does fall. More information here, here, here and here.

ITEM NO. 21 (a)

As agreed previously the council will not carry out any planned removal of street trees in
the Bayside area of Sutton without the approval of this committee.
Research indicates that trees growing in verges wider than 8 foot (2.4 m) are unlikely to
damage hard landscape features such as paths and garden walls ( Shigo: Modem
Arboriculture). It is the Council’s intention to retain all healthy trees growing in verges
of this width. However there are a number of roads with verges less than 1 meter in width
where large growing species have been planted and these trees are now of a size that they
have begun to damage footpaths and other hard landscape features. These trees should be
replaced on a phased basis commencing immediately or the Council will likely be forced
to clear fell large parts of Bayside in 10 – 15 years time.
It is therefore proposed to remove and replace with a more suitable species ‘variety the
street trees at the following locations:
1     23 Bayside Boulevard North. Rowan malformed and multi-stemmed that has
encroached onto the footpath presenting a significant risk of injury to pedestrians
particularly to those with impaired vision. The tree cannot be pruned without
totally disfiguring the plant. Replacement is the best option.
2     2 Bayside Boulevard South. Whitebeam 55cm diameter at breast height with a
severe lean towards road and large surface roots. Whitebeam were traditionally
grafted onto Hawthorn rootstock which has been discovered to be unable to
support the weight of a mature whitebeam. The tree presents an unacceptable risk
of failure in extreme weather conditions and has the potential to cause a serious
road traffic accident if retained.
3     4 Bayside Boulevard South. Sycamore 22 cm diameter at breast height in a 2
meter verge with a significant trunk wound with more than half of the trunk
decayed. This tree has reached the recognised threshold for action to prevent a
predictable failure (Mattheck & Broehler; The Body Language of Trees). This
tree should be removed immediately and replaced with a more suitable species.

4     The trees at No.’s 27 & 129 Bayside Boulevard North, No.’s 24, 20,10 ( 2 trees).
64 ( 2 trees) 38 & 30 Bayside Walk, No. 23 Bayside Park and the trees opposite
No.’s 1. 23. 57 & 59 Bayside Park have heaved the footpaths and present
unacceptable trip hazards and should be replaced with more suitable species. It is
proposed to replace these trees in the current winter season if the Transportation
Department confirms that the footpaths will be repaired.
In total it is proposed to remove 18 trees in Bayside and replace with more suitable
species where space is available.
When the inspection works were being carried out many residents approached the
inspector demanding works to reduce shading of their homes by the street trees.
The Council intends to carry out crown reduction and thinning works on a number of
these trees but notes that in many cases these works will only provide a very temporary
solution and the long term management issues for the trees in the area must still be
In Sutton Park 58 trees have heaved footpaths and present trip hazards of greater than
15mm. It is proposed to replace all of these trees over the next 3 years when the
transportation schedules footpath repairs. The trees are at the following locations:
Sutton Park at house numbers 326, 336, 346, 326, 348, 350, 211, 257 ( 2 trees) 257A, 257
B(2 trees), 26 (2 trees), 45, 25, 84, 82, 80, 77, 75, 66, 65, 185, 186, 188, 156, 160, 143.
119. 154. 156. 200A. 254. 251. 247. 240. 238. 234. 230. 228. 259, 261, 269, 271, 273.
277, 279, 285, 289, 291 and the trees opposite numbers 357, 356, 355, 344. 343, 253,
289A and 288A.

Planning files go online

Fingal County Council has put planning application files online. The summary information for all applications since 1992 is online and the full file including scanned maps and plans, for applications since November 2005.

Water Supply Disruption

Dublin City Council is cutting off the water supply over the weekend for work related to the Port Tunnel.  Fingal County Council, which is dependent on the City Council for water supply to Baldoyle and Bayside was only informed on Wednesday.  According to the Irish Times, the City Council deliberately decided not to give any more notice:

"The work was planned but the council decided not to give notice
earlier, Mr McKeown said. "This is not emergency work, but if we
gave notice earlier we felt people might forget when the time

Fingal’s policy contained in its Water Services Standards of Service  (approved by the Environment SPC which I chair) requires
"   For planned major interruptions written notification to all affected premises at least 3 days in advance."

The reason this has not happened in this instance is the lack of notice from Dublin City Council.

Information on the stoppage is below.

Important Notice – Disruption of Water Supply

From 8pm on Friday 1st December to 6pm on Sunday 3rd December 2006

Dublin City Council are carrying out major works in Fairview Park in conjunction with the Dublin Port Tunnel, which will affect water supply in parts of the City and County.

As a result the following areas may experience a disruption to their supply during the periods in question:


Sutton (from Dublin City Council boundary on Kilbarrack Road with Dublin Road to Sutton Cross)

Every effort will be made to ensure that Fingal County Council Customers will not be affected, however the Water Services Department will be providing 2 Water Tankers at the following locations for consumers to minimise this disruption:

LOCATION                TIMES

Bayside Shopping Centre         Sat 0900-2100 hrs,  Sunday 1000-2000 hrs

Racecourse Shopping Centre    Sat 0900-2100 hrs,  Sunday 1000-2000 hrs

Fingal County Council apologises for any inconvenience caused as a result of these essential works but with your co-operation and understanding we hope to keep the disruption to a minimum.

Water is precious.  Let’s conserve it. – Tá uisce luachmhar. Caomhnaímís é.

Emergency Numbers:                     01-2222222 (Office Hours)
01-2224220 (Office & After Hours)
                            01-2224221 (Office & After Hours)
                            01-6796186 (After Hours)

Fingal County Council Emergency Number: 01-8731415                                               Aertel Page 624