The development of the so called Lawrence Lands on the Oscar Traynor Rd. has long been mooted. Over the last 18 months since their identification as part of DCC’s Land Development Initiative things have begin to move. I continue to argue as to HOW these lands might be developed in a previous blog. This blog focuses on the stated objectives for the land as outlined by DCC in the draft Dublin City Development Plan.
The recent draft Dublin City Development Plan has assigned the lands the status of Strategic Development and Regeneration Area. The draft plan contains a number of objectives for the site. (see page 152 of the draft plan).
DCC sought public submissions on any aspect of the draft development plan. The details below constitute my submission on SDRA 17 for lands on the Oscar Traynor Rd.
Development on this site is most welcome particularly given the current housing supply crisis. A high quality well designed and considered development on this site has the potential to draw together several smaller local areas that lack key social amenities: Woodlawn/AuldenGrange/Santry Court, Castletimon, Kilbarron, Cromcastle, Ballyshannon Rd. and Lorcan. How current facilitates such as local schools, Northside Shopping Centre, a new Primary Care Centre in Kilmore (due to be developed in 2016/17) and the Astro Turf could support the development need to be considered. Gaps in services and amenities need to be identified and planned for as part of the design and planning permission process.
I note the provision of a high quality park (s). A a public rep serving the area and living near by a key gap in amenities identified by local residents is facilitates for older kids and teens – a community centre, a basketball court, a football pitch for example. It would be imperative that space be structured for such amenities. A large landscaped park, while beautiful and attractive needs to include actual sporting and play amenities if it is to fully serve the local community, promote social cohesion and prevent the possibility of anti-social behaviour. It would be imperative that DCC reserve significant space in its ownership for community use. For example, a large mixed use unit could be reserved to serve as a community hub, similar to the hub in Clongriffin, to provide a base/community centre for local community groups of all ages to meet and organise activities for all age groups within the community. Consideration should be given to including a Family Resource Centre as part of such reserved space.
Gaelscoil Colmcille borders this site and Scoil Fhursa is within 350m. Both these schools need to be engaged with to ascertain their capacity to serve possible new students and what amenities the site might be able to offer that might enhance their current facilitates.
I have reservations about the building heights outlined in the objectives – it would be imperative that the heights are scaled with two storey buildings nearest to the Castletimon and Lorcan and increased heights rising toward the M1. However, I do not think a slender 10 storey feature building in the north west corner would be visually appealing – there is no other building on the other side of the road to balance it out.
Access, Traffic and Public Transport
One of the key concerns with this development is the impact additional cars from the unit owners/tenants will have on both local roads/streets and the Oscar Traynor Rd. This road is the last slip road off the M1 and the key artery from the M1 towards Beaumont Hospital, the Malahide Rd., Artane and Clontarf areas. At peak times it is heavily congested. Further congestion will have a serious negative impact on access out of Woodlawn/Aulden Grange/Santry Court and into Gaelscoil Cholmcille at eak morning times and also.
Currently Dundaniel Rd. is also heavily congested at peak morning and afternoon times. This road cannot take any more traffic without causing major disruption to residents’ access in and out of their own driveways. Careful planning will be required to avoid Lorcan and Castletimon being used as peak time rat runs to off set congestion in other areas.
Enhanced public transport, cycleways and the extension of Dublin Bikes need to be planned for and realised in tandem with the development so as to provide alternatives to the use of cars – for example there is no public transport link between this site and the Northside Shopping Centre or the Omni Centre which are the two nearest retail areas.
Given the proximity of several other hotels I question the inclusion of a hotel. Perhaps it would be viable if it were to offer additional facilities such as a pool, gym, spa, bistro and bar to local residents.
Communication and Engagement
It is imperative going forward that the local community are actively consulted and engaged with in the development of the site.