The following is my response to the public consultation on the Kinsealy Local Area Plan:
Although much of the land at Kinsealy should not have been zoned for residential development, I welcome the opportunity to respond to the draft Local Area Plan.
My primary concern is in relation to providing for active travel modes within the LAP and to adjoining areas. The pre-draft consultation highlighted the importance of providing quality walking and cycling links from Kinsealy to neighbouring areas, in particular to Portmarnock railway station. The draft LAP shows a lot of positive intention in this regard but is very confusing when it comes to understanding exactly what is planned. At this stage in the process there should be clear proposals to respond to.
The LAP says:
“Portmarnock is well served by trains during the day, with frequent peak hour services. In order for the future population of Kinsaley to benefit from the railway services, it is an objective of the LAP to provide a pedestrian/cyclist link from Kinsaley to Portmarnock train station along Chapel Road. As previously noted, it is an objective of the LAP to facilitate/ investigate the provision of a pedestrian/ cyclist link from Kinsaley to Portmarnock.”
This is confusing. What exactly is the objective of the draft LAP? To provide, to facilitate or to investigate?
In relation to the greenway routes and roadside routes identified in the recent Feasibility Study, the LAP says:
“2.6 Kinsaley Cycleway and Footpath Network Feasibility Study“Fingal County Council has commissioned a cycling and footpath feasibility study for the Kinsaley area which examines the feasibility of a number of walking and cycle routes connecting the village to neighbouring settlements. It is an objective of the LAP to improve cycling connections.”
“5.4.1 Cyclist Links“Fingal County Council has commissioned the Kinsaley Cycleway and Footpath Network Feasibility Study which establishes a number of cycleway/footpath networks connecting the village to neighbouring settlements. The main routes identified in the study are:
- Route along Malahide Road;
- Off-road route east of Malahide Road;
- Route along Chapel Road;
- Off-road route through existing park land, behind Abbey Well residential area and through fields north of Chapel Road;
- Off-road route, through the agricultural land south of Chapel Road;
- Route along Kinsaley Lane.“Development areas will be required to provide the above infrastructure as applicable.“In keeping with this Study, the LAP proposes to provide segregated 2-way cycle tracks on the western side alongMalahide Road and a combination of segregated cycle tracks, on-road cycle lanes and shared road on Chapel Road. In addition, it is an objective of the LAP to provide off-road cycle facilities (green routes) along the Teagasc Site, and the River Bank. All of these routes will form the Primary Routes in theNetwork.“
The unstated implication in this quotation is that the objectives of the LAP only extend as far as the boundary of the LAP. This is contrary to what is stated in the previous quotation about linking to Portmarnock train station. However, the text goes on to say“The delivery of these measures will create a comprehensive network of safe and attractive cycle routes facilitating commuting, educational and leisure trips connecting key attraction points in Kinsaley to the wider planned network. Figure 5.6 shows the main cycle routes to be developed.”
Figure 5.6 then builds the confusion as to what the LAP objectives are by showing the routes as far as the edges of the LAP but not where they are to connect to.
In relation to Chapel Road, the draft states
“the LAP proposes to provide … a combination of segregated cycle tracks, on-road cycle lanes and shared road on Chapel Road.”
Of itself, with no map to indicate which option is to be provided at which section of the road, this is an inadequate description. This is made worse by Figure 5.3 which shows a pinch point crossing of Chapel road with no footpath cycle track or lane, or shared space design elements, a design which if implemented would make the road more dangerous for people cycling, not safer.
The LAP should be clear as to how the link to Portmarnock Station is to be provided. It is apparent to me that the better option is a greenway rather than attempting to redesign Chapel Road. Furthermore I understood the purpose of the Feasibility Study was to gather the evidence required to take options forward. If we are still not at a position where we can choose between these options, at a minimum the LAP should set out what the options are which are being investigated and that immediate developments must not preclude or obstruct them.
The LAP should contain objectives for the necessary connections to walk and cycle in a safe high quality environment all the way to adjacent communities and amenities.
This is not just those the links referred to in 5.4.1 quoted above, which would extend to Portmarnock, Balgriffin/Belmayne and Malahide. It should also include the other route from Kinsealy considered in the Feasibility Study, i.e. to Melrose Kinsealy, Holywell and Swords, which has not been mentioned but leads to important local destinations for work, school and commerce. The provision of high quality connections for walking and cycling on all of these routes, should be objectives of the LAP. Designed as greenways, these connections would also have great amenity value. This amenity use is of particular significance given the lack of Class 1 public open space in the LAP area and the distance to similar amenity land in neighbouring areas.
Kinsealy LAP must be based on provision for walking and cycling access, using high quality, safe and pleasant routes, designed for pedestrians and cyclists of all ages and abilities. The objectives of the LAP should be redrafted for clarity and to ensure the necessary infrastructure is provided.
Cllr. David Healy