Detailed written reports below video update, including several updates on 25th October to articles first published on 23rd October which have been moved towards the top. Not all issues covered in video will have a written piece and not all pieces reported on are covered in the video.
Quick links to stories (click on each to go direct):
Griffeen Valley Park Wetlands Signage - Swimming Pool Brief Report - Traffic Lights at Maxol Adamstown Fixed - Council denies agreeing to move Griffeen Road bottle bank - Vehicles and caravans parked up on Celbridge Link Road - Modular emergency housing plans at Backweston - Litter issues at shopping centres - Dodsboro Road junction - Bins sought AGP 0 and Tullyhall Green - Traffic to be slowed on R136 Grange Castle Road - Lucan embassy residence sale - Wall breach opposite Maxol Lucan - Crossing needed near Chinese Gospel Church - Schools update reminder - Dogs on leash signage
Griffeen Valley Park wetlands needs better signage or boundary markings
I've a motion down at the upcoming Area Committee meeting on this because several people have queried safety issues and the Council's early reply to me stating that signage was already in situ was, on inspection, unsatisfactory, because on multiple approaches you wouldn't see it.
The video update shows precisely what the issues area. For anyone wondering what this wetland is, please click here for a link to the consultation page outlining the rationale behind it. In summary, it's a wetland to filter the water before it goes into the Griffeen. It also enhances biodiversity in the area. Now the water level is designed to be consistently low, according to that scheme, but with heavy rainfall I've seen it deep enough to cause problems for a small child who accidentally runs into it, and some parents might not be aware of the potential risks before it turns into a rescue situation.
Further Update October 25th - My motion tabled on this issue at this week's Area Committee was passed, along with a similar one by Cllr O'Bradaigh. The initial response from SDCC was as follows:
MOTION: Councillor P. Gogarty
That the Chief Executive puts up more signage around the wetlands area in Griffeen Park as, despite the existing information display pointed out during an earlier raising of this matter, some people have not spotted it and complaints continue to come in relation to potential risks to young children, especially after heavy rainfall.
The Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW) is designed to treat and improve surface water quality, before discharging it into the River Griffeen. The ICW is comprised of two shallow, interconnected, emergent-vegetated surface-flow wetland compartments. The ICW has been designed with safety in mind and the sides of the wetland have a slope gradient of a minimum 1:5. This gentle slope ensures that anyone who enters the ICW will not encounter deep water at the margins. The vegetation which is growing in the ICW treats the water and further restricts access while enhancing the biodiversity in the surrounding area. The surrounding vegetation in the park has been left uncut to enhance the biodiversity and offer connectivity to insects in the area.
In lieu of providing further signage at the ICW the physical intervention of adjusting mowing practice will be implemented. This will take the form of maintaining a mowing strip around the margin of the ICW. This will delineate the edge of the ICW and allay any concerns while assisting park users to distinguish between the ICW and the park.
I got Council staff to show a video of the surrounding area during the discussion, which is included on the video at the top of this page. From this you can see that the grass margin is already in situ and I suggested that this would actually attract young children to run towards it. While there are high grasses and reeds at various stretches, there are also a number of low areas that fill up during heavy rainfall.
After further discussion on the matter, the Council finally agreed to put up some additional signage.
Swimming Pool Update
The pool target of October 26th will not be met and SDCC is now looking at December for completion by the contractor. This means it is NOT not going to be open until the new year given work to fit out the facility, train staff and the Christmas and New Year break. I'll will be updating regularly so for now click here to go to the rolling October 2023 Swimming Pool Update, which now includes the latest report back from the Area Committee meeting on 24th October and two long-delayed responses to my querying of the traffic measures which were sent to me soon after the above video was circulated on Facebook.
Damaged traffic lights at Maxol Adamstown near entrance to Lucan Sarsfields raised
These were reported today 23rd October as broken with pieces lying on the footpath. I've logged with SDCC. Update - these have been repaired.
Council shows no consideration for local feeling in Griffeen Road bottle bank rowback
SDCC agreed in 2021 to move the bottle bank on Griffeen Road to a more secure location at Lucan Sports and Leisure Centre once the car park reopened. I clearly remember the official in question stating during the discussion that yes, they would relocate the bottle bank when the car park opened as projected in summer 2022. This online meeting was actually recorded during Covid, but because it was before we got agreement on webcasting of meetings, it appears that a record of the meeting no longer exists, only the minutes, which stated a discussion took place and the motion was "noted".
This is not my recollection, but there is other evidence from when my memory was fresh, that this agreement had in fact been reached. It's from a social media post approximately a week later:
I had no reason to lie here, as my job would have been done representing people one way or the other.
Now as we know this date of 2022 for the car park reopening did not happen and the project dragged on. It also appears that the staff member in question has moved on (or at least their SDCC email is no longer working).
This news of a Council u-turn came during discussion on a motion last month by my colleague Cllr Liona O'Toole who had tabled a motion calling for the bottle bank to be relocated. As the Council reply to this motion was not supportive, I submitted a friendly amendment adding wording to the effect that the Council had already agreed to move the bottle bank.
It was highlighted during various discussions on the proposed greenway between Moy Glas and Castle Riada (awaiting consultation phase) so as part of getting feedback from residents most impacted by this plan in the two estates above (and Elmwood) I carried out a detailed survey on the greenway plan. This was also mentioned during discussions on the motion. The final question on this survey asked residents, given the bottle banks were due to be relocated, whether they agreed with this plan or whether in fact they wanted it to remain at this location. There were over 150 responses to this survey and almost 80% - a clear majority - indicated that the bottle bank should still be removed!
SDCC said they would look at the matter and revert. So on Friday 20th last we got an email stating the following:
"I refer to Motion 11 – 79670, that Cllr O’ Toole had on the September agenda at Lucan/Palmerstown/North Clondalkin Area Committee Meeting and Cllr Gogarty had an amendment.
The motion (with amendment) was as follows:
“This Committee requests the CE to make arrangements in removing the bottle bank from Moy Glas when the pool car park is opened as already passed in 2021, and as supported by a huge majority of local residents given the continued/constant illegal dumping at this location. See attached recent dumping”.
"The written response was 'The bottle banks are scheduled to be replaced with newly painted ones over the next week, to improve the appearance of the bring banks site. Removing the banks is not something that has been considered as it does not align with the objectives of SDCC’s community-based recycling strategy” We have had a number of reports in relation to dumping at this location. Evidence was found on two occasions and fines were issued. One fine has been paid to date. There is an audio device installed at this location which is operational. The Litter Warden patrols this area regularly and this will continue'".
"I have checked the previous motion (June 2021) and SDCCs understanding of the report is that no commitment was made to remove the bottle banks from Griffeen Road.
"I have copied the extract from those minutes below. There have been bring banks located historically at both Griffeen Rd/Moy Glas and Lucan Leisure Centre. The Bring Bank Site at Lucan Leisure Centre is to be reinstated on completion of the upgrade works in the car park and I am awaiting confirmation from the project team on the timeframe for this.
"It should be noted that this site is an important part of the bring bank infrastructure in South Dublin with over 150 tonnes of glass deposited annually for recycling. In terms of servicing the site, there have been 158 cleaning visits over the past year on the site as part of the contract for the servicing of glass banks in South Dublin. This is supplemented by removal of waste by Public Realm crews and patrols in the area by the Litter Warden. The banks have been recently replaced with newly painted ones and we are also exploring plans in relation to improving the layout of the banks and signage."
I find this response to be wholly unsatisfactory. Not to mention a bit illogical to spend money on a revised pull-in for an area that's supposed to be developed as a car-free linkage for pedestrians and cyclists. Councillors don't have an executive function on the specific location of bottle banks, but we represent the people and following multiple reports over multiple years about illegal dumping with apparent impunity at this location we got a commitment to relocate. It's also the case, agree or disagree yourself about the merits of relocating, that a large number of locals expressed a strong opinion on this matter. Again, not legally binding, but all things considered it is shocking that a local authority would take such an authoritarian and arrogant approach.
This is not the end of the matter, but our powers are limited in such circumstances, so I don't know what will happen going forward. If the dumping continues I would suggest that residents protest directly outside the offices of South Dublin County Council.
Update: SDCC is now arranging an on-site meeting with Councillors although it still maintains that they never gave a commitment in 2021. It's a pity the staff member who gave that commitment no longer appear to be working in SDCC.
Vehicles blocking path and cycleway on Celbridge link road
I've notified SDCC first thing this morning following reports on Sunday of a large number of cars, vans and caravans parking en-masse up on the footpath on the Celbridge Link Road and cycleway adjacent to where the modular emergency housing is being developed. This is blocking an entire section of pathway and I've also seen footage of vans, which appear to be advertising commercial services, jutting out onto the road itself, which is a road safety issue. If previous experience is anything to go by, there may be a time lag in getting this matter dealt with, but I will chase up with the relevant authorities.
Modular emergency housing at Backweston, off Tubber Lane and Celbridge Link Road
Having been asked by many people what is proposed at this location, and upon receipt of detailed information, I posted an update earlier this month including a report on the consultation meeting in Adamstown Community Centre. Click here to see the article.
Litter issues at shopping centres
The main video at the start of this article shows examples of recent litter in Ballyowen Castle Shopping Centre. I previously raised issues in relation to Griffeen shopping centre. I tabled a question asking how many fines had been issued on foot of complaints in the past at Ballyowen (see below) and was surprised to find that there were NONE in the last three years:
This suggests that warnings are working in terms of cleanup responses, but with litter being reported as an issue on a regular basis, maybe the Council needs to get a little tougher. That said we only have about five litter wardens for the whole county, something I've sought an increase for in my Draft Litter Management Plan submission (https://www.paulgogarty.com/post/sdcc-litter-management-plan) .
It's also worth noting that the litter I recorded most recently was on the central road area between Lidl and Eurospar, outside the specific zones of the individual supermarkets but within the overall shopping centre area. On a related issue, I've also been querying what role if any SDCC has in relation to other matters along the central entrance roadway such as the painting of road signage and lighting, something that would presumably relate to other district and local shopping centres where the roadways are not in public charge.
Dodsboro Road junction with Woodview Heights
It's taken a while, but the Council has finally put in the dividing laneway to avoid confusion for drivers going right or straight heading down towards the village. This was supposed to have been put in during the summer on foot of my raising the issue in March (see article here: https://www.paulgogarty.com/post/dodsboro-road-junction), A number of tweaks were required with the traffic lights sequencing since September and it's also good to see that SDCC has reinstated a bin following the widening of this road area.
Additional bins sought for AGP 0 area and also at entrance to Griffeen Valley Park from Tullyhall Green
The video highlights that the AGP 0 area has multiple sports uses (boules, hockey, athletics, soccer, GAA) and a number of walking routes, but few if any bins except near the bottle bank car park. It's also been brought to my attention that a bin is needed coming into the Griffeen Valley Park from Tullyhall Green. I request new or refurbished bins regularly, but SDCC looks at on a case by case basis according to their protocol and the level of new bins installed tends to be quite low overall as a result. They tend not to but bins in smaller green areas where they are already located on nearby streets.
Traffic calming Non-Statutory Consultation on Grange Castle Road R136
Click here for full details about this proposal, which will slow down traffic along the route and add parking bays either side, to facilitate the completion of works at Kishoge train station, now due to open in April 2024.
Discussions on sale of Lucan embassy grounds continue
Contrary to media reports, no sale has been completed yet for Lucan House and the rest of the grounds owned by the Italian State in Lucan village. At the monthly full Council meeting, under the Capital Projects report (click to open), SDCC stated: "As previously advised, provisional agreement is in place for the acquisition of Lucan House, and we will provide further updates as that transaction moves forward".
Related delays to wall breach repair
It's now almost five years since the wall collapsed near Lucan Demesne opposite Maxol and McDonalds. Delays up until recently were related to a dispute between SDCC and the Italian embassy in terms of who bore what responsibility for repair. SDCC undertook to carry out a draft design and then a full report. However further progress on this matter now appears to be tied up with the discussions sale of Lucan House and grounds to South Dublin County Council. I don't have definitive information, it's just a guess, but don't expect to see further progress on this long-delayed issue for a while yet.
Background information on wall breach here: https://www.paulgogarty.com/post/embassy-wall-october22
Pedestrian crossing sought for access to creche at Chinese Gospel Church
This issue was raised with me and having visited the location I think there is a need to facilitate safer access for people approaching the location with young children. I've submitted it for consideration and hopefully it won't be turned down on cost grounds or because it's deemed too close to the junction.
Schools update reminder
Just a reminder to anyone looking for information on Lucan schools, I've published a detailed information article including maps, which may be helpful to parents of children due to attend in the coming years. This can be accessed here: https://www.paulgogarty.com/post/lucan-schools-info
Dogs off leash signage
I've got one bigger sign put in at Willsbrook Park and will be seeking more, to complement the smaller signs. As the video states it's not permitted to have a dog off-leash in any Council park and some people who have been jumped on by dogs are not consoled by owners saying that their pooch is harmless and wouldn't hurt a fly. Personally I'm very comfortable with dogs, and am happy to let them sniff around, but not everyone is. Some people are nervous and it's not up to them to work out whether a particular dog is well trained or prone to chase behaviour.
At the same time we only have a few dog runs in the county and I previously tabled a motion calling for designated off-leash times, similar to Fingal County Council. I thought this might be a workable compromise but SDCC disagreed and as of now anyone who lets their dog off a leash in a public park risks being approached by a park ranger or dog warden. I've met people with absolute effective control of well-socialised dogs off the leash, but until the regulations are changed people should be under no illusions about the legal situation - under effective control and on a leash at all times, except in a dog run. I will update if there's any change in SDCC policy.