POLITICIANS at last week’s Metropolitan District Meeting in City Hall argued against an €80 million housing development in Knockboy which was proposed to An Bord Pleanala earlier this month.
The Councillors were informed that the Council was notified of the application for a Strategic Housing Development by Jackie Greene Construction Limited comprising of 207 houses and 154 apartment units, as well as a crèche and associated site works.
Sinn Fein’s Pat Fitzgerald said this was a consequence of emergency legislation introduced in the Oireachtas in 2016 which was causing a number of problems for local authorities and taking the planning process away from democrats.
“This is not suitable where they’re trying to enact this legislation, in an act where we have traffic congestion every morning. We have problems with overcrowding in schools and pupils not being able to access schools. I was out on the rural roads there recently which are now becoming rat runs… residents are absolutely terrified between 8 o’clock in the morning and ten o’clock and again in the evening time when parents are taking their children from St Mary’s. This is going to make that situation far worse.”
Cllr Adam Wyse, referring to the proposed developments adjacent to the Paddocks which was refused planning permission last week, said the 700 houses between the two could add 1,400 cars to an area he believes already suffers from a severe traffic issue.
“If there’s a funeral, a wedding, at school times, you can’t get out and it’s extremely unsafe now for people who are walking and driving up that area.”
Cllr Matt Shanahan told the meeting that there was “a significant amount of dismay” out on the Dunmore Road regarding the proposals and that while the legislation was suitable for a large city like Dublin, it was not appropriate for Waterford, with the scale of the development totally unsuitable.
“There’s not enough community activities out there to cater for all of this. There’s no schools. There’s no green areas and amenities and the traffic is already quite horrendous there in the mornings and it’s getting a lot worse. I understand that we actually have no say with respect to this legislation and a judicial review will only turn over the process, it won’t question the veracity of what has been done but I think as a council we should be making very strong representations that this is not Dublin City Centre.”
The public can make submissions until June 17, with a decision set to be made by An Bord Pleanala on September 2.