Issued October 3rd 2014
On October 2nd Balrothery Community Council held a public meeting to discuss the overall development of Balrothery Village since 2000 up to the present day. Balrothery Village and in particular the disposal of lands at Ringfort, Darcystown Rd by Fingal County Council for development. A very well attended meeting in the Old Church which was packed to the Gallery. All of Balrothery Village was represented including a vibrant and well-mannered youth contingent. The meeting was also attended by invited local public representatives; Brendan Ryan TD, Cllr David O’Connor, Cllr Grainne Maguire, Cllr Tony Murphy, Cllr JP Browne and Cllr Malachy Quinn.
The meeting began with a welcome from the chair, noting that the Balrothery Community Council has been established since 1970 and gave notice of the 2014 AGM which will be held in December. The current Community Council were introduced along with the designated planning & development sub-committee members. It was highlighted at the start of the meeting that there has been a fourfold increase in the number of houses in Balrothery Village since 2000. i.e. from 150 houses up to 627 houses at present.
Many comments from those present centered on the lack of provision of amenities. Particularly there was extreme disappointment amongst residents that the proposed disposal of land at Darcytown road and that yet another piece of green space is being removed from the village. It was felt that Fingal County Council has not provided adequate open space in Balrothery Village and in falling to do so has not adhered to own planning guidelines and their own Development Plan requirements. Only 1.3 acres of open space was provided at Ringfort a development of 157 houses, the current Part 8 proposes a further 10 houses which will reduce the available open space down to ½ an acre.
It was pointed out that significant amounts of development levies were collected from Developments in the Balrothery area over last 14 years to provide new open space, new recreation and amenities. Monies to upgrade the road & footpath network so that Balrothery Village could sustain the additional Housing numbers & population increase. The community is struggling to see where this has been spent. There was shock & anger when it was revealed that a developer currently building 10 houses to the East of Ringfort on the Darcystown Road was allowed to provide the Class 1 Open Space required on lands to the North West of Balbriggan, which in essence, is asking children from Balrothery to travel to Balbriggan to play. Another major concern raised by many parents was the traffic volumes & road safety issues throughout the village and in particular the speed of traffic on the Darcystown road. Treacherous conditions are observed every day by the community residents from Balruddery Fields must cross 5 road junctions with no controlled crossing point every morning to get to school. This is only one of many issues raised on the night.
On a positive note details were announced of plans for a new youth club being organised by Suzanne Guildea and the volunteers from the Youth Summer Project. A Tidy Towns committee is also being established and we hope to enter the 2015 competition.
As the meeting drew to a close the residents and community members were asked for a show of hands in respect of how many at the meeting believed that Balrothery Village was way over developed and there was too much high density housing for a rural village. The show of hands showed on over whelming majority agreed, this support was highlighted and shown to the local representatives who are being asked to carry the wishes and concerns of the people of Balrothery Village to the executive of Fingal County Council.
Urgent action needs to be taken and the Community Council have called for an urgent meeting with The Fingal County Council executive. Balrothery Community Council would like to refer back to the vision statement from the 2002 Local Area Plan for Balrothery prepared by Fingal County Council that aimed to “protect and enhance the special character of this small historic village” It is clear from the community that Balrothery has not been protected nor enhanced by all this over development since 2002. The community council is now determined to redress the imbalance and insist that the necessary social and physical infrastructure that was disregarded is now delivered.
signed:- Balrothery Community Council