Monthly Archives: November 2007

Traffic Calming for Baily Green Road

The Area Committee has approved traffic calming measures for Baily Green Road in Howth. The road, leading from the Summit Inn to the Baily Green/ Summit carpark, has suffered from nuisance and danger from speeding cars in recent times.  The traffic calming approved consists of speed cushions at three locations on the short road.  A copy of the report to the meeting is below.
Download the original attachment



(Services A – Transportation, Environment & Amenities

and Water & Drainage)

Thursday 15th November, 2007

ITEM NO. 20(a)




At the Malahide/Howth Area Committee Meeting held on 6th September 2007 it was agreed that residents of Bailey Green Road, Howth would be surveyed to ascertain whether they were in favour of the proposed traffic calming.

The survey has been carried out and the results are as follows:

IN favour  20

NOT in favour  0

DID not respond 3

It is therefore recommended that traffic calming at the above location be approved for implementation.

Objection to proposed development on Edros site

I have objected to the planning application for apartments on the Edros site in Howth.

                  54, Páirc Éabhóra,
                  Beann Éadair,
                  Co. Bh. Á.C.

                                verdire at gmail dot com
                                01 8324087
                                087 6178852                           
                                26th November 2007

A chairde,

I wish to object to the above development on the following grounds:

·    Breach of County Development Plan.
The proposal would be in breach of a number of provisions of the County Development Plan in particular the amenity zoning of the site, under which residential development as applied for is not permitted.  

The site was first developed for community amenity use.  It is likely that in the absence of this use, the sand deposits in the area would not have been developed for any other use.

·    Loss of amenity-zoned land in a central position in Howth
The development would involve the loss of the only substantial amenity-zoned site in Howth which has served and has the potential again to serve as the location of a major amenity facility for the community.  The fact that it is amenity-zoned is critical as to its potential viability as a location for an amenity facility.  This is because the land costs for residentially zoned land are so high as to make amenity use of them impossible.

There have been suggestions that the developer would give money towards the development of amenity facilities elsewhere in Howth.  However, in the absence of concrete plans for such facilities (e.g. planning permission plus capital funding arrangements, money itself carries no guarantee of results.  This is demonstrated by the fact that the surplus obtained by Howth Sutton Community Centre Ltd. (which sold the Edro site to pay its debts) is still in the bank  approximately 8 years later.

·    Visual impact
The development would have a major visual impact on historical and amenity routes and locations in Howth including views from Abbey St., St. Mary’s Abbey, Tower Hill, Balscadden Road, Ted Hayden’s field, East Pier etc.

I enclose €20.

Is mise, le meas,

David Healy
Green Party/Comhaontas Glas Councillor for Howth Ward

PRESS RELEASE: Greens criticise proposed introduction of flat waste charge in Fingal.

Green Party Councillor David Healy has criticised the planned introduction of a flat waste charge in Fingal County Council.
At the moment waste charges are based on a tag system whereby residents must buy a bin tag every time they put their black bin out.  Green bin collection is free.  The Fingal Manager is now proposing to add a flat charge to the existing charge which is levied each time a bin is collected.

Since legislation in 2003 took the Council’s power in relation  to waste and gave it to the Manager, Councillors have no direct power in relation to waste charges.

Cllr. Healy criticised the proposed charge: "This new flat charge is contrary to the polluter pays principle.  The Greens supported the bin tags when they were introduced and continue to support charging for waste on the basis of volume.

"This form of charging is in keeping with the polluter pays principle and provides an ongoing incentive to recycling and waste reduction.  As the Council’s website states "You only pay for what you throw away". (

"One of the results of our success in recycling and in discouraging waste production has been that many households now put out their black bin as little as once every 3 or 4 weeks.  Despite this, the Council is continuing with a weekly collection frequency at great cost.  We should be reducing costs by switching to a fortnightly black bin collection."

Cllr. Healy will be proposing a motion to the December meeting of the Council as follows:

That all domestic waste charges in Fingal for the black bin be levied per lift of a waste bin or on volume or weight of waste disposed of, and not levied on a flat charge or standing charge basis.

Further info: Cllr. David Healy (Howth ward) 087 6178852

Planning application for Edros site

A planning application has been lodged for the Edros site (beside Tower Hill and Balscadden Beach)  in Howth. 
Application Ref F07a/1349 was lodged on 22nd Oct.  As the site is zoned
for amenity use, the Council cannot normally grant planning
permission.  However, at the Area Committee meeting today, the Planning
Department told us they were initiating a "material contravention"
procedure.  This means that the proposal is put on public display and a
3/4 majority of the Councillors will be required to approve it.

The Edros site has been disused since the community based sports club
which ran it sold it to pay off its debts. There is talk of support
from the applicant for amenity facilities in Howth.  However, there are
no concrete proposals and money in the bank is a long way from actual facilities which people can use.

In my view the only circumstances under which a residential development
on amenity zoned land should be considered is where there is clear
amenity benefit to the public.  This is not the case with this proposal.

Howth Urban Centre Strategy

Work is to start on the long-awaited Urban Centre Strategy for Howth.  This plan includes both Howth village area and the Techcrete site which recently changed hands.  This Strategy will be of great importance for the future of Howth.

At this stage, the Council is looking for public comments before work starts on the Strategy.

I would encourage all Howth residents as well as regular visitors to Howth to make their views known by 12th December. 

Full information is here.

Howth Village
Urban Centre Strategy

In accordance with the Urban Development Policy of Part IV of the Fingal County Development Plan 2005-2011 Objective UO2 the County Council intends:
‘To produce an urban centre strategy for Howth Village’
The aim of the Urban Centre Strategy is to create a vision for Howth village centre which will provide a guide for future development proposals for the enhancement of the vitality and viability of the village whilst having regard to the special historic and architectural character of the area and its special amenity and tourism value. The Urban Centre Strategy will include the preparation of detailed urban design guidelines and actions for the village centre, the harbour area and the lands located to the west of the Dart Station comprising the SC zoning “ to protect and enhance the special physical and social character of major sub-urban centres and provide and/or improve urban facilities”. Possible issues for consideration in the strategy will include:
g Character and sensitivities
g Coordinated and integrated development
g Environmental improvements
g Need for new facilities/services (such as retail, leisure, hospitality, recreational, health)
g Design
g Access and parking associated with specific development site
The County Council hereby invites all interested parties to make submissions on the future development and use of lands in Howth Village.
A map and brief outlining the extent of lands which are the subject of the future strategy is available at the following locations: –

Fingal County Council Offices: –
County Hall, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin. Mon – Thurs 9.00 am – 5.00 pm & Fri 9.00 am to 4.30 pm
Baldoyle Offices, Baldoyle Library, Baldoyle ,Dublin 13, Mon – Thurs 9.00 am – 5.00 pm & Fri 9.00 am – 4.30 pm

Other Locations:
Howth Public Library – check locally for opening hours.
Submissions should be made in writing to, Senior Executive Officer, Planning Department, Fingal County Council, County Hall, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, or they can be e-mailed to on or before 5.00 pm, Wednesday 12th December, 2007.
Dated: 14th November 2007.

My role as Ministerial adviser

The Irish Independent is making a deal out of the fact that I and other Green Party activists have been appointed by John Gormley as advisors. 

I think I should put what I consider to be my qualifications for the job on the record.  The following is from my letter to John Gormley asking him to consider me for an advisor role, and will also be laid before the Oireachtas as required for all advisor appointments.     
With reference to my qualifications as an advisor:

I have a degree in Law and a M.Sc. in Environmental Science, both from TCD.

As a County Councillor (1991-1999 and 2004-date) I have been involved in bringing about and overseeing the implementation of planning specifications for reduced energy demand in Fingal, involving negotiations, networking and cooperation with public servants, stakeholders and politicians.  I have also worked on energy issues through the Fingal Development Board, which is likely to lead to the appointment of an Energy Officer within Fingal County Council with a remit of developing a Climate Change Strategy for the Council.  I would bring a keen awareness of the potential for the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to facilitate progress in and through local government.

I have worked as a planning and environmental consultant, on various cases, including many of the major environmental battles of the last 10 years, gaining experience of the operation of the planning system and the EPA, as well as of the legal framework within which they operate and of the Courts and a wide knowledge of the environmental movement.

I have been active in both Feasta and Friends of the Irish Environment on policy issues, including lobbying and making submissions to the DoEHLG and other Departments and Agencies. This has been in relation to a wide range of issues, but in particular the implementation of EU Directives, the operation of planning and environmental licensing systems, energy and climate change policies.  I have also been involved in making many complaints to the EU Commission in relation to non-implementation of EU environmental law in Ireland.

I have led an EPA-funded research project for Feasta on the sustainability assessment of road projects, and been co-author of a number of briefing papers commissioned by Comhar, on Aarhus issues, transport policy, subsidies to fossil fuels etc.

As a Director of the ENGO Core Funding network, I engaged with DoEHLG and with all of the national environmental NGOs, in particular in devising and negotiating the funding allocation system for NGOs.

As a member of Comhar, representing ENGOs, I worked on a range of sustainability issues, engaging with all stakeholders, including DoEHLG officials, in order to have effective input into the policy-making process.  

I was the Comhar representative on the Monitoring Committee for the Economic and Social Infrastructure Operational Programme, (While I failed in my main objective of getting the greenhouse gas impact of the roads programme measured it did give useful insights in to interdepartmental / interagency dynamics.)

I have represented Irish ENGOs as a lobbyist at intergovernmental conferences of the UNFCCC and the Commission on Sustainable Development and thereby gained a familiarity with the international environmental and sustainability policy processes.  I was on the editorial committee of the NGO network Earth Summit Ireland, which published the book “Telling It Like It Is; Ten years of unsustainable development in Ireland” for the 2002 WSSD in Johannesburg.

Keeping the website up to date

My apologies for not keeping this website up to date.

I have taken a job as a policy adviser to John Gormley, Minister for
the Environment.  Despite my criticisms (see below) of the agreement to
go into government, I accept the decision of the majority in the
Party.  And I do acknowledge the major opportunities which now exist to
move sustainability to the core of the political process.

So the last few months have been particularly busy.  But I am fully
committed to continuing as a Councillor and that includes keeping the
website properly updated, which I will be doing again from now on.