Local Area Development

This is a letter Kevin, our Chairman of the Gallops Residents Association, sent to local TDs, Councillors and Ministers in regards to the planning application for the Glencairn site. Please click this link to see the development plans: http://glencairnshd.ie/


Dear Ministers, TDs and Councillors,

I am writing to you as Chairman of the Gallops Residents Association in Leopardstown to outline our concerns about the planning application that has been submitted by Park Developments for the Glencairn site in Leopardstown.

Over the past 12 to 18 months, we have seen an unprecedented increase in residential development in our local area (e.g. Clay Farm on Ballyogan Road, multiple sites on the Glenamuck Road, Kilgobbin Road, Enniskerry Road). This has been followed by a further high density development that has been given planning permission at Lisieux and now we have another application in the planning process for the Glencairn site.

We are not a reactionary “nimby” residents association who object to everything new that comes along. We understand that new housing is badly needed, however we are starting to feel overwhelmed by the level, height and scale of development that is in progress or in the planning process in our local area. We also understand the need for the bus network redesign at a strategic level for Dublin, but there seems to be a perception now among planners and other agencies (i.e. NTA) that the Luas is a public transport service of infinite capacity, because all these new developments and proposals have the Luas service underpinning all their applications.

The Luas is a great service, however it is already running into capacity problems at peak times, and not only do our Luas-commuting residents have problems getting on the trams, but our car-commuting residents have to wait 10 minutes sometimes to get out of our estate. We currently have the bizarre situation of having traffic jams in a residential estate that is over 10 km from the city centre and based on the current developments in place, it looks like this is only going to get worse. In addition to this, we have to deal with the growing problems of our estate being turned into an unofficial Luas car park, as commuters from surrounding areas drive by cars to our estate, park there, and get on the Luas.

We will therefore be calling a public meeting in the next couple of weeks with residents and we will be looking for your support on a number of points surrounding this latest application:

1. Firstly, that a complete feasibility study needs to be done on how the Luas is going to meet the demand that is going to come from all these residential developments in its catchment area, from Cherrywood to Kilternan to Leopardstown

2. How are residents of the Gallops, who still rely on cars to make critical journeys to work and school, going to exit the estate if Luas frequency is increased, which it will have to do to meet point 1?

3. In relation to the Glencairn planning application specifically:
(a) planning should only be granted when the Leopardstown Link Road across the M50 has been built as per the County Development Plan, otherwise there will traffic chaos at the already congested Leopardstown roundabout
(b) the scale and height of any application should be in keeping with the surrounding residential areas, which in this case is 2 storey housing in the Gallops and not 5 storey apartment blocks.
(c) any residential development above this height should be on the farthest side of the site, away from the existing housing in Glencairn View, Glencairn Chase and Orby, so that the visible impact from any higher buildings is minimised.

We will let you know the time and place for our meeting in due course, where we look forward to discussing the issues above with you in more detail.


Kevin Windle
Gallops Residents Association

4 thoughts on “Local Area Development

  1. Dear Kevin

    Thanks for this – I think its a very well worded letter and very timely

    One thing that strikes me in relation to all of these new developments is how these developers exploit the Luas system as a selling point (and I suspect, as a means of jacking up prices). I do not know enough about how things work but it seems to me that if developers can exploit such services for personal gain then the tax payer is entitled to some contribution from said developers in the context of maintaining or improving the relevant services. Perhaps such a facility already exists but I’m not aware if such is the case.

    The general impression I have is that these new developments are exploiting the pressure for more housing and are being thrown up with little regard for the quality of life they offer, particularly for families with young children. Thankfully our children can play on the roads and green areas in the Gallops. The same cannot be said for kids growing up in more recent developments in the environs of Stepaside / Belarmine etc where their safety must be a concern. I see nothing different with Clayfarm and there is no reason that the situation will be any better in this latest Park Development proposal.

    It seems to me that the emphasis is on getting the maximum amount of people into the smallest amount of space for the maximum return. The consequences of this do not appear to be the developers problem. I think there is a growing anger in this country lately that the needs of ordinary people are being brushed aside so that a select few can enrich themselves. In that context I very much welcome your announcement of a public meeting.


    Brendan Eiffe
    7 Glencairn Way
    The Gallops


  2. Good letter but in my humble opinion not hard hitting enough.

    I think the point is well made in terms of the overarching concerns but in terms of the asks…..

    this is not just about Luas or time it takes to enter/exit our estate it goes well beyond that. The challenge will only really start once you exit the estate!

    For sure the Luas is a key area but Transport, in all its forms needs to be a core topic of discussion and investigation. In fact, the mentioned feasibility study should not only span Transport but also all services including water and waste management etc and the environment in general.

    Point 3 part a) – whether this road is constructed or not it will not address the above-mentioned need for a deeper more complete feasibility study. I don’t believe we should be suggesting or implying that if this road is built it will address the transport question. It will only address a portion of it.

    Point 3 b) & c) I think there is a contradiction here. If we do not want the “5 storey” then it should not be acceptable under any circumstances no matter where in the plan they are located. We seem to be suggesting in c) that it will be ok if located “farthest side of the site” yet in b) we say “keep with the surrounding residential”.

    In addition to the above, what are the consequences if the Ministers, TDs and Councillors don’t support these concerns? Slightly rhetorical but I think we need to make it clear as voters what this will mean.

    The above is my constructive and objective feedback on the posted letter and I would hope it is taken as such and not in a defensive manner.


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