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Ballyboden Tidy Towns

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The deadline for making an objection has passed (29th June 2020) and the case will be decided on no later than 14th September 2020. We have 11 weeks to fundraise for a judicial review should we need to. If you have any ideas please let us know on 083.800.6251 or by emailing [email protected]

Why are we fundraising?

On the 25th May 2020, Shannon Homes lodged a Planning Application ( ) with An Bord Pleanala to build 496 units on the former Augustinian lands on Taylor’s Lane in the heart of Ballyboden under the Strategic Housing Development Scheme (SHD).

Ref: SHD3ABP - 307222-20.  

Deadline for making a submission: 29th June 2020, by 5.30pm, at the offices of An Bord Pleanala, 64 Marlborough St., Dublin 1.  There is a fee of 20 euros. They have no online facility to accept submissions or payment. 


Ballyboden Tidy Towns are raising monies to engage the services of planning & legal consultants to fight this dreadful development which will devastate the heart of Ballyboden Village its streetscape and character. This development will be burdensome on the wider area of Rathfarnham, Knocklyon, Ballyroan, Edmondstown, Whitechurch and Marley and will at a regional level impact the M50. 

Shannon Homes chose to lodge this planning application during a time of COVID restrictions which has curtailed our ability to fundraise and host public information meetings. Is this legally permissible? It is certainly cynical and has had the impact that the norms of community involvement with political representatives and various residents groups meeting has not happened. For those who do not have online access and have been cocooning in line with HSE recommendations, it has been impossible to visit the planning counters in SDCC and ABP.

Documents submitted by Shannon Homes show this development will:

  • Obliterate the entire site’s Tree Canopy – we estimate just seven trees are to remain in an area with a Specific Local Objective to protect and retain trees. Cynically, the area marked as a 'woodland' feature for this development is not owned by Shannon Homes and whilst it was included in Drawings, Reports and significantly in the Appropriate Assessment, it is located in a neighbouring property and not in control of Shannon Homes. This is quite a unique departure when a Developer 'borrows' trees from a neighbouring property hoping that no one will notice that they growing behind the neighbour's fence.
  • Breach the SDCC Climate Action Plan
  • Irreversibly damage its ecological habitat - affecting protected species such as bats, otter and kingfishers. They even state there is no bird breeding potential along this watercourse despite the acknowledged landmark natural linkages onsite by Irish Wildlife Trust and SDCC.
  • Flout the Irish Wildlife Act and EU Habitats Directive – inadequate Appropriate Assessment.
  • Remove the Pitch & Putt, St. Joseph’s Youth Club, Basketball and Tennis Courts and deprive residents of this recreational resource
  • Collapse the local road infrastructure - instead of dealing with the existing traffic gridlock this will induce/attract more congestion
  • Swamp existing local public transport - there is no confirmation of any increased services to deal with current demand let alone additional demand
  • Overwhelm local schools and local childcare 
  • Demolish the Georgian House, which both An Taisce and the Irish Georgian Society have stated should be listed as a Protected Structure.
  • Demolish the Walled Garden even though it is listed with the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) as a Historic Garden & Designed Landscape  
  • Discharge its onsite surface water into the Owendoher River – part of the River Dodder Catchment - a river system connected hydrologically and ecologically to two European NATURA 2000 sites. The Appropriate Assessment and EIA Report submitted does not assess with scientific certainty this important watercourse despite them noting it as an Ecological Corridor. Shannon Homes described this watercourse as a 'drainage ditch' or a 'ditch' yet the Consultants engaged by the HSE in 2013 described it as being a watercourse 3-4 metres in width with potential for otters and Inland Fisheries Ireland confirmed it "is part of the Owendoher catchment. The main channel for Salmonids in the Dodder system."  This watercourse because of its industrial heritage past acts as a linkage river. It connects the River Owendoher (source Kilakee Mountain) and the River Glin (source Tibradden Mountain) . Both of these rivers have otter and kingfisher activity. It is not unusual for otters and kingfishers to be spotted on these rivers by residents and reported to the SDCC Heritage Officer and NPWS Conservation Ranger. As recently as 14th May 2020 otter activity was reported on this site on social media. 
  • Connect its foul drainage system to a system that is already recorded to be at capacity in Ballyboden. The nearby estates of Taylor's Court, Owendoher Haven and Boden Park have reported ongoing foul drainage issues to SDCC especially since Scholarstown Wood has been built.
  • Contravene the SDCC County Development Plan - Shannon Homes have stated that it is a Material Contravention of the Plan
  • Annex a SDCC public realm space, which is regarded as an important community space to a Developer, without any vote of SDCC Councillors, or public consultation, for the purposes of this planning application and contentiously inflating the site area for the calculation of public open space provision onsite. Why should this developer be given use of this public space and their management company take it away from the community?
  • Create onerous light and noise pollution
  • Cause car parking spillage in surrounding estates and roads because of its inadequate car parking provision rate of 0.7 spaces per residential unit; just 25 parking and drop-off spaces for visitors and customers of the 2 retail spaces and only 5 spaces for the creche
  • Will introduce a level of oppressive building scale, massing and high-rise that will act as a dangerous precedent for the area with the resulting cumulative effects of unsustainable development. The density for the site is 141.7 units per hectare whereas surrounding estates are 10-20 units per hectare
  • The Primary Care Centre is conditioned in their grant of permission from An Bord Pleanala to be integrated to this subject site in order to enhance permeability, social cohesion, connectivity and avoid fragmentation. The required bridges, pathways, much needed car spaces and the essential shared egress is not included by Shannon Homes in their application. Of the 230 trees on the PCC site over half are to be removed. 
  • There is no Social and Community Infrastructure Assessment included in this application. Instead they list the small number of amenities but not their capacity e.g schools, creches, recreational resources - so how can you assess impact without the baseline data?
  • Create dangerous and irregular traffic movements for cyclists especially at the Junction of Scholarstown road and Edmondstown Road  - clearly no Road Safety Audit was carried out. Any cyclist should be worried especially as this zone is already precarious for cyclists. Apparently there is a 'protected cycle lane' opposite Costcutters on Taylor's Lane  - really? This is utter fiction as that section of Taylor's Lane resembles a 'truck stop' . Regrettably there is no such protection measures in place.   Cyclists are particularly at risk on both sides of Taylor's Lane in the vicinity of Costcutters because of parking behaviour by vehicles, vans and trucks. Edmondstown Road, Scholarstown Road and Ballyboden Road present particular cycling dangers so the last thing we need is a development that makes it more dangerous to be a cyclist. The Ballyboden Roundabout is at capacity according to SDCC Roads Department.
  •  Shannon Homes is obligated to provide 10% of its development under Part V for social housing - however this is a lease arrangement for 20 years which means SDCC will never increase their housing stock unlike other developments. It looks good in Reports that the Housing Department will publish but long term it is a another failed policy. 

Ballyboden has been profoundly let down by the Augustinians, abandoned by SDCC, indentured by a failed Housing Policy that will wreak a multi-generational legacy of damage. It is not sustainable development and now airbrushed out by Shannon Homes who decided not to consult with residents and local businesses and who took a decision that the Ballyboden Village Area Masterplan did not apply to them.

Let's talk about Road Infrastructure 

When the Ballyboden Village Area Masterplan was adopted by SDCC Councillors it was made clear to the Augustinians that their entire property holdings could only have two road egresses, one onto Taylor’s Lane and one onto Edmondstown Road, in accordance with the National Roads Authority, compliant with good road practices and the Part 8 for the Green Route Realignment on Taylor’s Lane. The Augustinians have retained their Taylor’s Lane egress at 'St. Augustines' and now Shannon Homes seeks another egress onto Taylor’s Lane. The Augustinians had one egress onto Edmondstown Road and the HSE availed of that. Now instead of sharing this egress with the HSE, Shannon Homes wants to create another egress at Billy’s Bridge (Junction of Edmondstown Road & Scholarstown Road) in other words a complete re-signalisation in favour of their development – thus making 3 egresses onto Edmondstown Road. This is utter chaos in the making. In addition, Shannon Homes wish to open up St Catherine’s Gate (opposite the Ballyboden Roundabout) which we were told by SDCC was not to be opened because said Roundabout had 4 existing lanes and a fifth lane would create injurious traffic movements.

Let's talk about Community & Recreational Facilities

Ballyboden Residents built and funded the Pitch & Putt, Basketball Court, Boxing Club and Youth Club and financially supported the Augustinians since the 1950s. The Religious Order were mandated to provide community facilities as part of any redevelopment of their Ballyboden Site as part of the SDCC Ballyboden Village Area Masterplan. 

Instead of keeping those public promises and written assurances to provide community facilities, to attempt to redress the damage from losing such high recreational amenities, the Augustinians divided their property into two sections and sold them off in a piecemeal fashion. The Augustinian’s property company, Tagaste Limited, sold a corner of the site which was zoned ‘To preserve and provide for Open Space and Recreation Amenities’ to the HSE. The remaining portion of the site, which was zoned residential, was sold to Shannon Homes.

In their application Shannon Homes are providing community facilities strictly for their residents controlled by a management company.  – in their own words “A development of this scale has the potential to create its own local community within the wider context of the area. The public park, creche and retail units will also benefit the existing communities of the surrounding areas creating additional social and recreational infrastructure.” They state regarding the Public Park that it is to be used as a ‘detention basin for the scheme’ in respect of surface water and as the Boherboy Water Main traverses the 'public park' the planting of trees will not be permitted in this 'soggy park'. Unlike other Strategic Housing Developments, Shannon Homes have failed to submit a 'Social and Community Infrastructure Assessment' to An Bord Pleanala - so the planning authority cannot fully assess the impact this development will have on the receiving environment. The Environmental Impact Assessment Report is flawed by this omission alone and is not therefore, fit for purpose.

Let's talk about the Primary Care Centre

The Augustinians were told that they were to develop their site in line with the Ballyboden Village Area Masterplan. By selling the zoned area for recreation amenities (corner closest to Moyville Estate) to the HSE and the subsequent grant of permission for a Primary Care Centre (PCC)  it was conditioned that there would be permeability and shared access between the PCC and the remaining Augustinian landholding under any redevelopment plans in order to avoid piecemeal development. Shannon Homes has not read or has chosen to ignore the conditions of the planning permission for the Primary Care Centre. The Primary Care Centre, according to the HSE has insufficient paid parking for their clients and staff. They had hoped to secure more parking within the remaining site but no such allowance was made by Shannon Homes.

So, what exactly is Ballyboden and the wider area of Rathfarnham, Knocklyon, Ballyroan, Edmondstown, Woodstown and Whitechurch getting out of this scheme as existing Development Fees to date, in their millions, have not been spent on the area? Two sites for the Ballyboden Swimming Pool were taken from us and our Library so what do we do?

Donate, make a Submission to An Bord Pleanala and get in touch with your Councillors/TDs.

How to object?

Your submission needs the following: your name, your address, a fee of 20 euros and this reference below:

Ref: SHD3ABP - 307222-20. Shannon Homes, Taylor's Lane, Dublin 16

Deadline for making a submission: 29th June 2020, by 5.30pm, address it to The Secretary, An Bord Pleanala, 64 Marlborough St., Dublin 1.  They have no online facility to accept submissions or payment but if you phone/text Ballyboden Tidy Towns 083.800.6251 we can arrange with you to be a 'local courier' and deliver your envelope (objection plus the 20 euros fee) for you. 

Or perhaps you might want to sign a Master Objection (one letter and loads of signatures) - save you typing one yourself? In this case instead of paying a €20 fee, with your objection to An Bord Pleanala you donate the €20 fee to us, when you sign in person the Master Objection. Check times for doing so at the top of the page.

Contact Details

Ballyboden Tidy Towns Group , Dublin , , IRELAND