Entries are made under date beginning with the most recent.
Annual Report 10.11.04
Thornton' Waste Facility: Made an application
to have a waste recycling facility on the Industrial Estate. DCRA together
with several other Residents Associations lodged observations with Meath County
Council. MCC granted permission with conditions. DCRA appealed this to An
Bord Pleanala. ABP granted permission. Thornton's Waste Ltd made an application
to Meath County Council to extend the facility from 5,000 to 50,000 tons per
annum. DCRA lodged objections to this together with 242 othrs and Meath County
Council refused permission. Thornton's then appealed to ABP for approval of
this extention. DCRA and others have lodged objections to this appeal. A decision
from ABP is awaited. Should ABP grant permission a liscence to operate will
be required from the Environment Protection Agency. DCRA wants to thank all
who have joined in support of this initiative and especially DCRA thanks Lutrell
Hall Residents Association for their untiring and persistent work on this
Dunboyne Castle: Again on this project DCRA was extensively and continuously engaged over many weeks. DCRA lodged substantive observations with MCC. MCC granted permission for the development to go ahead with conditions. DCRA then appealed to An Bord Pleanala and made an extended submission. ABP then decided to hold an Oral Hearing. This hearing lasted two days at the end of which the presiding Inspector recommended to ABP that permission be refused. An Bord Pleanala voted 6 to 3 that the Development should go ahead. The Press reported on this and found it shocking. However there were some improved conditions attached.
Navan Road: DCRA submitted objections to MCC and the plan was modified and approved. However local residents were not happy with this and appealed it to An Bord Pleanalawho further modified and approved the plans.
Summerhill Road Development: DCRA has submitted objections. This matter is ongoing.
Opposite Spar: DCRA made a submission on this project. Plans were subsequently modified by MCC taking on bord some of DCRA's main objections and approval given.This building is higher that any other building in the village. DCRA questioned this but MCC says that it is a two storey Building and in accordance with the approved plans.
There were during the year four sub-committees: Waste & Recxycling, Planning, Garda Liaison & Flooding. As already reported Planning & Waste have taken up major human and financial resources of DCRA during the year. The Garda Liason Sub-Committee has made contact with the Gardai and we can expect developments there. The work of the flooding sub-Committee has been one of monitoring the completion of floood alleviation works and how effective these works are in coping with weather conditions.
Other Business Undertaken by DCRA
We held two consultation pre-election meetings with candidates standing in Local Elections earlier this year. DCRA is a politically active organisation in the Dunboyne community but is not politically aligned to any Party. Members were free to support the candidate of their choice. It is a matter of record that a number of DCRA members gave their support to an independent Dunboyne candidate just as others gave support to their respective candidates.
DCRA has been active in and currently holds the Chairmanship of the Kildare Meath Wicklow Planning Alliance. This group has been active in influencing Government and Regional planning policy and development and over the year has made a number of submissions in respect of same. The group is mutually supportive to its membership and is a useful forum to inform the work of DCRA. KMWPA records an ongoing exchange of information and ideas with the Minister for Local Government, Heritage and the Environment and with Civil Servants in that Department. KMWPA has already begun to correspond with Mr. Dick Roche, the Minister recently appointed to that Department.
DCRA has as in previous years availed of opportunities to inform, respond to and use for the achievement of its purposes politicians at local, national and European level. It has made submissions to the drafting of the National Spatial Strategy and the re-drafting of the Regional Planning Guidelines. In a special initiative DCRA has both with Meath County Council and in the Dail raised the issue of planning fees which have cost DCRA and residents of Dunboyne thousands of Euro per annum. We are pleased that the matter is now being considered by the European Court of Justice.
The vains of an organisation are its network
and the blood of an organisation is that which flows through that network
namely communication. DCRA's effectiveness as an organisation has been due
in a major way to the way, practically on a daily basis, it has maintained
its network of communication.
1. The first and essential group that DCRA has kept in contact with is its own membership and the Dunboyne community.
2. Secondly contact was maintained with the County Council its staff and Councillors.
3. Thirdly DCRA throughout the year communicated with politicians, Local Authorities, and national organisations.
4. Finally DCRA many times throughout the year got their message across to the public in general.
The means used to do these things were:
1. Email, letter writing and telephone on a frequent basis.
2. The DCRA Newsletter was published and distributed when such was needed.
3. Radio and the Press, both local and national, was used on many occasions by members to speak in public and influence opinion
4. Again throughout the year there were frequent meetings of various groups within DCRA and with others people and organisations.
5. Finally, DCRA maintained an Internet Website. This site was regularly kept updated. Members contributed material and letters to the site. From time to time DCRA is complimented on this site and sometimes other organisations contact DCRA for advice and information. 70.7% of users live in Ireland the other approximately 30% live in (given in order of the amount of usage): USA, UK,Canada, Belgium,Australia, Hong Cong,Netherlands,France and other countries. In total aproximately 4,000 visits per year are made to the site. A number of Third Lvel students doing research have used our website and have contacted us. Some of these students we have met to discuss their interests.
DCRA should encourage affiliated Residents Associations to make this site www.dunboyne.net more widely known to their members to achieve grater use of this instrument of communication within the Dunboyne Community.
Many people have given their time and abilities to the work of DCRA during the past year. I am tempted to mention many members by name but I dare not do so since I believe all members in very diverse ways contributed to the DCRA agenda. I consider DCRA to be an efficent and effective organisation well focused on the objectives and principles on which it is founded. DCRA exercises a significant and needed role within the Dunboyne Community. As members of DCRA I hope you recognise and value your contribution to the community in which you live and your work in DCRA towards improving our environment and our quality of life. DCRA has positioned itself as a respected organisation in Dunboyne, in the County of Meath, within the Greater Dublin Region and indeed at national level.
I thank you that I am able to present this highly positive annual report to you this evening, which is the greatest compliment I could pay to you.
Jim McGrath, Chairman
Thorntons: There were 242 objections
to an application by Thorntons Waste Ltd to Meath County Council to expand
the operation from 5,00 to 50,000 tons on the basis of traffic and sub standard
roads. Permission was refused. Thorntons have now appealed to An Bord Pleanala
and DCRA and Luttrell Hall have lodged objections to that appeal. Closing
date for observations is 5th Oct. Appeal to Environmental Protection Agency
will be down the road - usually wait to see what An Bord Pleanala says. This
matter to be discussed at the next meeting of DCRA.
Dunboyne Castle: A report was given on the Oral Hearing by An Bord Pleanala over two days in Leixlip after which an Independent Inspector recommended to An Bord Pleanala that permission be refused but An Bord Pleanala voted 6 to 3 that Development should go ahead. Press reported on this and found it shocking. However there were some conditions attached. The exit to the Rooske Road is still up for discussion and DCRA have asked to be involved in this discussion. The site for the Gael Scoil will not be accessible for 15 to 18 months - water, sewage, etc must be in place. The entrance to the Gael Scoil will be Private and not an access route.
Navan Road: DCRA with other interested parties submitted objections and the plan was modified. The matter was appealed to An Bord Pleanala and was further modified on approval approval.
Summerhill Road Development: DCRA have submitted observations. This is on hold.
Opposite Spar: This building is higher that any other building in the village. DCRA wrote asking if there is a standard height for a two-storey building. The letter of reply stated that the building is in accordance with the planning permission granted. DCRA when it made observations on this development to Meath County Council was successful in getting a number of conditions in place, i.e. extra parking places, no houses at back, etc
Other: There was a question about rumours of an antenna being put on old water tower in return for funding for a Playground. DCRA to find out more about this.
A report was given on the nuisance caused by youths on motorbikes coming into Beechdale. The Garda have been notified. Members were reminded that any associations who wanted to start up or re-activate Neighbourhood Watch, that the Community Garda is available to assist. There is also a problem of youths congregating between Woodview and Beechdale for drinking sessions. It was suggested that Res. Assocs. in the 2 areas might involve Garda Liaison officer (Barry).
Treasurer's report: There are still bills outstanding for Planning Appeals. Money is kept on hold for these expenses. Some estates have not yet paid - 38 annual fee.
Residents Associations: Issues for DCRA handing over of estates to County council. Beechdale still not handed over - Built in 74. Still issues outstanding with the Builder before the estate will be taken over. A document outlining procedure for handing over will be circulated.
Planning/Participation Fees: John Bruton TD asked a question in Dail at the behest of DCRA as to what monies are being taken in relation to planning fees. It is our right to participate in democratic processes. Ireland is the only country in the EU with such charges. The total amount paid to Local Authorities in 2003 was Euro 44,579,524. Dunboyne spent something around Euro 8,000 in 2003 and Meath County Council took in Euro 64,684. The Minister replied that the monies went towards costs of administration. However this issue is now to go before the European Court of Justice. We have been in touch with the solicitor involved in European Environmental affairs.
Strategic Planning Guidelines: It was reported that Strategic Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area 2004-2016 had been published. It is a long document, is available in due course in the local Library. DCRA have been an active member of the KildareMeathWicklow Planning Alliance and has made submissions, which were taken on board. There is a meeting of this Alliance on 4th October at 7.30 pm in Taylor's Hall, Dublin 8.
Dunboyne Castle development: Approximately thirty objections/observations submitted to Meath County Council by individuals and organisations including DCRA. Planning approval was granted to Menolly Homes Ltd by Meath County Council. The planning application has been appealed to An Bord Pleanala. An Bord Pleanala will hold an oral hearing. The date and place of this hearing is yet to be decided.
Flooding: At the beginning of the year DCRA submitted 2 reports to Meath County Council. M C O Sullivan, Consultants, issued the interim report in January 03. DCRA submitted a second report in February 03. The paper submitted by DCRA was made available by MCC to the Consultants and the Local Authorities involved in the Tolka River Flooding Project. A Final report is expected in January 04.
Other Observations submitted by DCRA to Meath County Council on Planning Applications:
· Commercial development between Dwyer's Pub and Bank of Ireland.
· Site on Navan Road- Between numbers 4 and 10, St Mary's Tce (vacant) for mixed commercial residential development.
· Site beside Spar for mixed commercial residential development. Planning application refused. refused.
· A representative of DCRA attended and contributed to an oral hearing on the M3 - new proposed motorway. It is hoped to commence this road in mid 2005. Clonee to Dunshaughlin section of the road expected to be ready in 2007. It will be tolled around present Fairyhouse junction. The Ring rd - Pace rd to Maynooth will be ongoing at the same time as the M3. It will be single carriageway and sufficient land will be left to made it dual in the future if needs arise.
Waste/Recycling: Planning Application from Thorntons Waste Disposal Ltd for a recycling plant near Dunboyne industrial estate. Thirteen submissions were made to Meath County Council. The Council granted planning permission t. DCRA and Residents association appealed to An Bord Pleanala. An Bord Pleanala granted permission but they put 15 conditions attaching to it. These will now be used to monitor the facility. Good work done by Luttrell Hall and Plunkett Hall Residents Associations.
Garda Liaison Sub-Committee was established.
Taking over of Estates: Complaints at the delay of MCC to take over estates in Dunboyne that have been completed. There are serious problems awaiting resolution with developers and Meath County Council.
Tidy towns - Committee took part in new initiative with Meath County Council. A number of new flower tubs and hanging baskets were placed throughout the village centre. Peters Park was awarded 700 Euro and 500 Euro for ongoing work in the village centre. The Tidy Town Committee was commended by DCRA for their continuos good work in the village.
Appreciation was expressed of all who prepared the many papers and submissions to Meath County Council. The amount of work and long hours put into this work involving so many other members of DCRA Committee was much appreciated by all present and by the people of Dunboyne.
1. Flooding. A meeting was held in the Community Centre 19.02.03 to inform residents and to engage in discussion on the programme of work being undertaken by the County Council following the submission of the Consultant's Interim Report on flood alleviation measures in Dunboyne. The meeting was Chaired by the Chairman of the County Council and was attended by the County Manager and the County Chief Engineer. DCRA members welcomed this initiative as informative and consultative and felt that the County Council was now listening to our community and that hopefully this will continue.
Points raised at the above meeting and a draft paper presented to the DCRA meeting resulted in an agreed submission to be sent to Meath County Council commenting on the Interim Report and proposed works. There is a budget of Euro300,000 available for immediate work. To view DCRA's submission click here.
2. Dunboyne Castle Proposed Development: Menolly Homes' planning application was not "validated" by Meath County Council at the time of the meeting. Based on the information available a full presentation was made to the meeting and fifteen substantive concerns were discussed. Work has already begun preparing a submission. The application for planning approval will be studied when validated by the County Council. During a period of five weeks after the validation date submissions may be made. With the help of professional advice and support from other organisations in DCRA's network, submissions will be made to Meath County Council in due course.
3. It was noted that the EU had ruled that the payment of a fee of Euro20 with each objection/observation in respect of a planning application is unlawful and the meeting asked that the Minister for the Environment stop the practice and refund the many Euro20 fees paid by residents in Dunboyne in recent years. Recently 42 objections to Thorntons Waste Site planning application were submitted at a total cost to residents of Euro 840.
4. Thorntons' Waste Plant: Planning approval was given by Meath County Council on 04.02.03 despite the submission of 42 objections from individuals and organisations from our community. It was agreed that DCRA should lodge an appeal to An Bord Pleanala. There is a great fear that this site could develop into a major site serving an extensive catchment area much wider than Dunboyne. DCRA agreed to engage a professional/consultant to deal with this case. A commitment was given by all that they would raise funds across the community for this purpose. The closing date for lodging an objection is 03.03.03. To view DCRA's submissions made on 25.09.02 and 28.01.03 click here.
5. Earlier this month DCRA submitted a paper to Meath County Council on its proposed "Draft Green Belt Strategy". The proposed green belt excludes dvelopments already included in the County Development Plan 2001 and also excludes the lands immediately east of the old railway line which are not rezoned for development. To view this submission click here.
6. DCRA thanked its many members who attended two sessions with Consultants appointed by Meath County Council engaged to draw up an Area Action Plan for possible development of lands immediately east of the old railway line.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the actions and initiatives DCRA should take in regard to the flooding issue.
Constructive use of the media was advised.
Legal Action: This route should be definitely explored. A sub-group was set up to do so.
A request should be made for a meeting with the Meath County Council Manager.
A formal letter to be sent to Fingal and Dublin City Councils in regard to flooding in the Tolka Valley, the survey being undertaken and with a proposal to stop all development along the Tolka until the flooding issue is resolved to the satisfaction of residents.
To have sight of the interim report from Consultants M C O'Sullivan.
Invite County Meath TDs to a meeting of the DCRA Committee.
Arrange for questions to be asked in the Dail.
Propose "creative" ways and means to solving the flooding throughout the Tolka.
Prepare a DCRA Newsletter for distribution to residents.
It was noted that Professor Cox said that flooding in Dunboyne is proof of over development and that residents are suffering as a consequence.
The meeting concluded that there should be no further development in Dunboyne until the flooding issue was resolved to residents' satisfaction.
The Chairperson, on behalf of the members of DCRA expressed sympathy to the members of the Estates who suffered due to the flooding on 14th and 15th November. He then invited each of the 21 Residents Associations to report on how their estate was affected. Members would then be invited to comment and finally the meeting would be asked to decide on a course action to be taken in response.
Approximately 130 houses were flooded. 95% of houses in Dunboyne were not affected by the floods. Clonee village was severely flooded. The trauma for families affected was tragic and the damage done to their property was devastating.
Reports were given by members who attended flood meetings in Clonee, Drumcondra and Dunshaughlin.
Civil Defence: Many of its members could not reach Dunboyne to engage. Assistance came from Trim. Resources and the number of volunteers were inadequate. Co-ordination and planning will be reviewed.
· A recent major housing development in Dunboyne was built on a flood plain - Meath County Council responsible.
· Gutters and drains were blocked - Meath County Council responsible
· Castle River: Bridges not able to take water flow; also true of Bennetstown bridge.
· Green Sawmills Bridge: wire causing built up of debris and blockage - Meath County Council responsible.
· Drainage upstream good so flood waters reach Dunboyne within one hour of rainfall.
· Professor Brian Cox: Flooding is almost entirely due to development.
· Quarry at Bracetown: This natural flood over spill was filled in - Meath County Council responsible
· Newly built ducting for the River Tolka under the N3 too small to take flood water - Fingal County Council responsible.
· Since last flooding: Minor and inaffective cleaning of Castle River bed - Meath County Council responsible.
· Dunboyne was inaccessible from all roads - Meath County Council responsible.
· Interim report from M C O'Sullivan Consultants urgently required for work to begin in January 2003.
Next meeting: 27.11.02 to decide a course of action.
Waste Recycling Plant:Thornton's have lodged a planning application to Meath County Council for the location of a Waste Plant in Dunboyne to take domestic, commercial and construction industry waste. The proposed location is on a 4.7 acre site at the back of Luttrell Hall and Plunket Hall. The entrance is through the industrial estate. DCRA took a unanimous decision to lodge objections to the type of plant proposed. To view DCRA's submission to Meath County Council click here and view entry for 25.09.02
Residents of Avondale Square have lodged objections to the establishment of a restaurant and takeaway adjoining their properties - in one instance only 4 feet away. The smell of cooking and the risk of fire will create a situation that will be environmentally unacceptable and damaging to the quality residents' life style.
Millfarm & Fair Green: Lights on the connecting Distributor Road will be put in next year.
Community Information Day held on 9th March was a success with a good turnout and many exhibitions. It is hoped to run a similar event in the future.
Judicial Review of the County Meath Development Plan: The case was taken by Mr McEvoy (Kildare County Councillor) and Michael Smith (Chairman of An Taisce) on the basis that Meath County Development Plan amounted to unlawful overzoning in contravention of the Strategic Planning Guidelines for the Region. The judge agreed there was massive overzoning in breach of the SPGs but on two legal technical points ruled in favour of the County Council. The judge, reading from a draft document, stated that the MCC Development Plan was irrational and contradictory. The judge also stated "In many instances "local interests" appear to have overcome the concept of "local needs". To view extracts from the Judge's report click here and refer to entry dated 08.09.02
Village Centre Works: Resurfacing being done. Cycle lanes, road lineing and parking lines will be marked. A raised pedestrian surface will be laid across the road to the village green; tarmacadam will be laid outside Macari's; decisions being discussed on new litter bins and seating; Station Road Bridge - fencing to be renewed, a tender have accepted; grass piece near buss stop will be landscaped shortly; entrance to Rooske Roar from Station Road - landscaping being discussed with developer and MCC; grass cutting on verge around Hamilton Hall Apartments is being negotiated. Tidy Towns and all people who contribute to making our village an attractive place to live in were thanked.
Planning: 1. The Green Belt East of the old railway line has not been rezoned for development. An Area Action Plan is being drafted. DCRA has made its submission. To view click here.
2. Area Action Plan for Dunboyne Castle. To view DCRA's submission to MCC click here
3. Ring Road: Summerhill Road Residents Association attended sessions of and made presentations to An Bord Pleannala. Discrepancy in the road measurements was pointed out and advice was given on same. The size of the proposed roundabout was challenged to have it reduced. Attention was drawn to the fact that this bypass was being constructed in a flood plain. The width of the proposed bridge arches was also challenged. If not changed it this would lead to flooding. The Castle River was not considered in the plan. Many other other points were put including lighting, noise, pollution etc. Planners and consultants agreed to visit the site and were met by residents' representatives.
Reports From Affiliated Associations: Five Associations raised matters of interest on drainage, street lighting, pollution from burning of waste, sewage and County Councillors. DCRA will work in support of Associations on these matters.
Application For Membership: Congress Hall applied for affiliation and was accepted as the twenty-fist affiliated Association making DCRA representative of an estimated 1,600 houses and approximately 87% of the population of Dunboyne.
Integrated Area Action Plan for Lands East of Disused Rail Line: DCRA has prepared and submitted a 13 page substantive paper to Meath County Council. To view this paper please Click Here.
Work in the Village Centre: The ongoing work is being monitored. A further meeting with the engineer overseeing the work, Michael English, will be held next week. To view the record of that meeting please Click Here.
Traffic Report: The Chairman met the Garda Sergeant, Alan Dowley. A speed detection van has been used recently which recorded a large number of incidents; summonses are pending. The van will be used regularly in the future. He will also see to the traffic signage on the Summerhill Road, the damaged Bennetstown Bridge and the malfunction of the traffic lights in the centre of the village. The Secretary has written to DUBLIN BUS with suggestions to improve services to/from Dunboyne. To view the improved service please Click Here.
Planning: DCRA expressed its total opposition to Minister Noel Dempsey's proposals to introduce a payment of Euro20 when anyone lodges an objection on planning issues.
Waste Collection & Recycling: Residents are angry about the huge increase in waste collection charges. Despite raising the matter with many bodies nothing has happened. Dunboyne has no recycling facilities. The opportunity to have one off the Rooske Road failed. A sub-Committee was set up to deal with this issue: Claire Aumont (Chair), Mary Clarke, Pat Jenkinson & Ann Gilvary.
Community Information Exhibition: Date 09.03.02. Number of organisations committed - 32. A directory of voluntary organisations in Dunboyne is being prepared by DCRA for distribution at the event. To view this directory Click Here.
High Court Action Against Meath County Council: This action being taken is on the alleged breaching by the Council of planning guidelines and planning law. The case is progressing.
DCRA Website: This site is now being frequently and regularly updated and refreshed. To view site Click Here.
Luttrell Hall and Plunket Hall were voted into membership of DCRA. There are now twenty affiliated Associations representing approximately 1,600 house and an estimate population of 87%.
An extensive report on all aspects of the Village Renewal Project was given. Work will continue to be monitored and DCRA representatives will continue their meetings with Meath County Council staff.
DCRA to make a formal submission to MCC protesting at the condition of the Station Road Railway Bridge, highlighting the the dangers to all traffic but especially to cyclists and pedestrians, the construction of a pedestrian footpath and requiring that funds be made available for this work to be carried out this year.
The Traffic Sub-Committee reported on bus transport, speeding through the village and parking in the village. Sargent of the Gardai to be contacted.
Flooding: Some dredging of the Castle River has been done. A joint survey by the Locl Authorities involved, of the Tolka River throughout its length, will be completed later this year.
Community Information Exhibition will be arranged for the Spring at the Community Centre.
Another issue of DCRANEWS will be published and distributed in time for Xmas.
DCRA received a letter from An Gaelscoil. A reply in support was sent.
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