Monthly Archives: January 2009

Letter to County Manager re Techrete and Howth Urban Centre Strategy

In November I sent the attached email to the County Manager in relation to his reliance on the Howth Urban Centre Strategy in dealing with the Techrete site application.  As I have pointed out the Strategy has no legal standing. Giiven that it has not been approved by the Councillors it has no democratic legitimacy either.  I have not yet received a reply.

I will continue to work to ensure that the policy framework for planning decisions is set by the elected and accountable Councillors as envisaged in the Planning and Development Act.
From: David Healy / Daithí Ó hÉalaithe
Date: Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 5:24 PM
Subject: Howth Urban Centre Strategy

David, a chara,

In response to the draft Howth Urban Centre Strategy, I made the following comment

"I believe this strategy, appropriately amended, should be adopted as a Local Area Plan.  I think it is important to give it a legal status so that it will be of use in the planning system.  The preparation of the Strategy is mandated by the County Development Plan.  However, unless it is adopted as a Local Area Plan it will not be possible for the Council to rely on it in making planning and other decisions in the area.  There is a well established legal principle that the holders of statutory powers cannot delegate those powers other than as foreseen by statute.   Therefore the elected Council as the body responsible for adopting Development Plans and Local Area Plans which set the framework for planning consents, cannot delegate to the Manager or anyone else the power to draw up documents which set the framework for planning consents.  

"Not being able to rely on the Strategy for Development Control purposes would of course, negate the entire purpose of producing it.  Therefore I would recommend that the Plan, subject to amendments as suggested below and others which will arise from the current public consultation be put forward for adoption as a Local Area Plan."

We haven’t received any formal response to these or other comments submitted in response to the draft.

However, I note the following additional information request has been made in relation to F08A/1172:

" Heights The proposed development does not accord with the indicative heights as set out in the Howth Urban Centre Strategy, which provides for two storeys on the western edge, rising to a maximum of seven on the northern edge addressing Claremont Strand. The applicant is requested to submit revised plans, elevations, sections etc. that show a significant reduction in heights such that the proposed scheme complies with the Howth Urban Centre Strategy.

There is a legal problem here in that you are seeking to rely for planning control purposes on a document which has no legal status for that purpose.  It is far more than a technicality as the Urban Centre Strategy proposes to allow building heights significantly in excess of that acceptable to local councillors and the local community.

I would be grateful if you could indicate that you will put the draft strategy on display as a draft Local Area Plan.  Ideally it should go on display including the amendments which have already been suggested by myself, other local councillors and the local community, so that the discussion and final decisions can focus on the more detailed areas rather than the topics on which substantial consensus has already been achieved.


David Healy

Cllr David Healy
Green Party/Comhaontas Glas
Howth ward  / Ceantar Bhinn Éadair

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

087 6178852

Green Councillor welcomes draft Fingal Septic Tank Bye-laws

David Healy, Chair of Fingal Environment Strategic Policy Committee
(SPC) today welcomed the publication for public consultation of draft
Bye-laws for septic tanks and other domestic sewage treatment systems. Cllr. Healy who is a Green Party Councillor for the Howth/Malahide Area said:

" These bye-laws have been approved by the Environment SPC for public consultation as an important step towards clean water in our rivers and streams. Inadequate servicing and maintenance of septic tanks and associated soakaway systems is leading to water pollution in many parts of the county.  Areas with a high density of septic tanks have particular problems.  Often householders are unaware of their responsibilities and the requirements to effectively maintain septic tanks.  The bye-laws will require householders to ensure their septic tanks are working properly.

"Under the Water Framework Directive, Ireland and all local authorities are required to achieve good water quality by 2015. Dealing with overflowing and misfunctioning septic tanks is an essential part of this process and will enable Ireland to avoid being fined by the EU.

"In addition, it is much more cost-effective to prevent pollution than clean it up so we can expect these bye-laws to save money in the long run."

The consultation period runs until 20th March.

The text of the draft bye-laws is here.

Green Cllr congratulates all responsible for Howth being the cleanest town in Ireland

Howth Green Party Councillor David Healy congratulated all those
responsible for Howth being recognised as the cleanest town in
Ireland.  Cllr. Healy commented:  "The change in the appearance of
Howth over the last few years has been remarkable.  Previously litter
was a serious problem in Howth. Now the natural beauty of the area is
matched by a clean environment.  In particular I want to thank the
cleaning staff from Fingal County Council. The extended cleaning
service over the last few years is the key to Howth’s achievements. 
But there has been a virtuous cycle: residents and visitors to Howth
alike have kept the area much cleaner.

"Local businesses have
played an important role.  The local primary school Scoil Mhuire and
it’s Principal John Chambers deserve particular mention.  The
green-flagged school is putting environmental responsibilty at the core
of it’s teaching and it’s grounds were singled out for special mention
by the assessors."

Further info: David Healy 087 617 8852

Press release by Irish Business Against Litter