Join Date: Dec 2005
[Article] Private park and ride proposed for Clonsilla
From Community Voice (Dublin 15 local newspaper)
Private park & ride proposed for Clonsilla
One of the phrases often used by those advocating greater use of public transport in the area is that of “park and ride” and both the local authority and Iarnród Éireann are regularly castigated for their failure to provide such facilities.
It is the lack of these facilities that have lead to much of the local chaos and aggravation for residents of local estates near Dublin 15’s railway stations.
Local residents and developers Paul and Harry Warnock have now decided to capitalise on this lack of provision by state agencies by offering their own solution to the problem with a privately operated park and ride service in Clonsilla.
Last month the brothers submitted a planning application to Fingal County Council for the provision of a temporary park and ride facility for 280 cars in Clonsilla village. The proposed car park – almost twice the size of the Iarnród Éireann car park in Coolmine would be located on lands at the old Post Office on Clonsilla Road and occupying lands behind the Petrogas filling station and Cunningham’s Funeral Home. According to the plans submitted by the Warnocks, access to the site would be through Weaver’s Walk - the narrow cul de sac opposite the Clonsilla Link Road.
While, on the face of it, the provision of such facilities might seem to be of benefit to the area, Fine Gael local election candidate Kieran Dennison has come out strongly against the proposal.
Speaking to Community Voice he said “this is a private venture and will do nothing to alleviate the chaotic parking in the area. Most commuters will continue to avail of free parking in nearby estates and roads.”
Mr Dennison suggests that the effect of the new park and ride will actually make matters even worse for local commuters “as hundreds more cars from Meath and beyond descend on the Clonsilla Road in the mornings. Local traffic will be held up while they queue up to get in. Those unable to find space will simply dump their vehicles wherever is most convenient before running for the train. As well as the congestion and pollution, there will be the usual problems with litter and vandalism just like Coolmine,” he said.
The planning application is accompanied by a traffic impact assessment prepared by Clifton Scannell Emerson, consulting engineers. This company recently carried out the construction of the Ongar Road for the county council. According to consultants, “the development will include public lighting, CCTV cameras, pay stations and barriers. Access will be provided from a local access road to the west of the site. This will require the modification of the existing junction between the Clonsilla Road and the Clonsilla Link Road creating a new signalised staggered cross roads including the car park entrance road, Clonsilla Road and the new Clonsilla link Road.”
According to the consultants their analysis indicates that “the modified junction has more than enough capacity to cater for the development of a car park on this site while also ensuring junction safety and improving pedestrian facilities.
In the council’s Urban Strategy report, the proposed site was previously identified as a probable development site in the village “with potential for 48 residential units comprising 18 two bed apartments, 27 three bed houses and 3 four bed houses”.
A proposal by previous owners of the site to carry out an apartment development with access through the adjoining Lambourne estate received planning permission from both the county council and an Bórd Pleanála. However this was eventually overturned by the courts following a case taken by the local residents’ association.
The present owners of the site Warnock Construction have already completed other developments in the area including the apartment blocks at The Meadows in Clonsilla. The fact that the building boom has come, in the words of Brian Lenihan TD, to “a shuddering stop” has probably prompted them to make alternative use of the site until the property market improves.
However it is precisely for this reason that Mr. Dennison is opposing the current application. “When this site is eventually built on, those availing of the park will seek to continue parking somewhere else in the area. This is the reason I have always opposed the concept of a park and ride at Clonsilla. There can never be enough spaces for everyone and in any case the area cannot cope with anymore traffic,” he told Community Voice.
A decision on the application is expected by the middle of July.