Fingal Council has unveiled its plan for Castlelands on 7th May for a consultation period until 28th May. The plan is at this link, where you can also make a submission-
The plan involves up to 1,000 additional homes in the area just south of the Pinewood estate. The proposed density level is to be 57 per hectare. To compare, the current density of Fancourt Heights, Hampton Cove area is 20 houses per hectare.
This is council owned land, yet the council propose only 10% social housing allocation with an additional 30% set aside as affordable and 60% sold privately. There is a siting in the proposal for a swimming pool and additional school. Also, there will be a series of sports pitches and cycle paths incorporated into the development. There is another key element of the plan which involves completion of link road from Castlelands roundabout and Skerries Road.
Having watched the presentation, one aspect that I likeis to take parking off the street into underground facilities and I like the design images. I would hope that the images presented are what will be a reality.
Below are some of the key issues I think that should be of concern in relation to thisplan:
- Transport; did the council win a commitment for additional bus services from the NTA for the additional 4,000 people it proposes to accommodate here?
- Health; has the council a commitment from the Department of Health or HSE in relation to provision of various additional health services that such a significant population increase would bring? People are currently waiting 3 weeks for GP appointments.
- Education; the presentation refers to an additional primary school, but at what stage will this be delivered, given that primary schools are at capacity in Balbriggan?
- Town cohesion; what is the suburban sprawl mitigation plan, given that there are already estates in Balbriggan which are 30 minutes walk from train station and the town itself is in an apparent state of decline?
- Density; it is proposed to build apartments and employ a high density of housing in this area. Apartments and higher density would be more appropriate to the centre of town eg older persons accommodation. If building on the outskirts, family homes would be the preferred type of accommodation.
- Housing composition; as this land is council owned, who benefits from the sale to the private market? What is to stop investment funds buying up much of the proposed stock on this publicly owned site?
The plan is open for public consultation from 7th May to 28th May and then the council will review it for approval at the July council meeting.
You can view the presentation and the discussion involving councillors at