Re: Digging up this old thread

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This caught my attention today

Rebels pass D18 shops rezone plan
By Maeve Galvin

Wednesday April 14 2010

COUNCILLORS have defied the Environment Minister in moving to rezone a shopping centre development in Carrickmines.

The move to extend the retail development at The Park, which is just off the M50, goes against the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s development plan, which was signed off on last Thursday.

Following a debate at last night’s council meeting, councillors passed the motion to vary the development plan and provide for a district centre by 15 votes to 13.

This flies in the face of Environment Minister John Gormley’s orders last month that directed the council not to rezone the Carrickmines land.

Several councillors spoke out against the move. Labour councillor Richard Humphreys, a barrister, told the chamber that the move “wasn’t a lawful motion”.

He said: “There is a legal obligation to comply with the minister’s regulation.

“In addition this would undermine the Cherrywood development and negatively impact on this council’s interests. I feel that it would be ludicrous and making a mockery of this council for us to pass this.”

Fine Gael’s Tom Joyce, Jim O’Leary, Barry Ward, John Bailey and Maria Bailey, and independent councillor Gearoid O’Keeffe put forward the motion, which aims to extend the retail land in Dublin 18 by 10,000sqm.

It also proposes to reduce the retail land at the Cherrywood development by the same amount.

Proposers of the motion said that they had been approached by developers who want to put in amenities such as a cinema, supermarket, leisure centre and restaurant, which would create 800 jobs.

Councillor Jim O’Leary said that the move was in the interest of creating jobs for the county.

Council management now plans to seek legal advice and report back to the council on the issue.

Council votes to rezone land at Carrickmines for retail

COUNCILLORS IN south Dublin have voted to begin a variation to rezone land for retail development in Carrickmines despite a ministerial order directing them not to increase retail in the area.

Minister for the Environment John Gormley directed councillors on Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council not to rezone land at The Park, Carrickmines, off the M50, to increase its retail space when they created their county development plan last month.

Councillors complied with the Minister’s direction order, but yesterday, following a heated debate, they voted to effectively overturn it.

Fine Gael councillors Tom Joyce, Jim O’Leary, Barry Ward and John and Maria Bailey, along with Independent councillor Gearóid O’Keeffe, tabled the motion to increase retail zoning at Carrickmines by 10,000 sq m and simultaneously reduce retail zoning at Cherrywood, also off the M50, by 10,000 sq m.

Councillors had come under pressure from developers at both centres.

The Carrickmines developer, Park Developments, had promised 800 jobs and a “guaranteed” anchor tenant, as well as interest from other retailers should the motion be passed.

The Cherrywood developer, Dunloe Ewart, had threatened legal proceedings should the motion be passed. It said it had already spent €28.6 million on infrastructure in Cherrywood.

Speaking in defence of the motion, Cllr Tom Joyce said he had been contacted by a delegation of business people who said they would like to put in a cinema, supermarket, leisure centre and restaurant at The Park.

“These people are ready to start operations immediately,” he said.

He believed the development was sustainable.

Cllr Jim O’Leary questioned why Mr Gormley “interfered” in the county development plan.

Cllr Barry Ward put on the record that he was “beholden to no one”. He was satisfied rezoning Carrickmines was the right thing to do.

However, Labour councillor Aidan Culhane said the motion was “utterly shocking and appalling”. It was a plan to build another shopping centre on the side of a motorway. “I find it staggering that councillors would do this . . . in Carrickmines of all places after all it’s been through in planning terms.”

His Labour colleague, Cllr Denis O’Callaghan, said he detected “a palpable smugness, arrogance and contempt” for the work carried out by the council in the last two years.

Cllr Richard Humphreys said there was a legal obligation to comply with the Minister’s order and increasing retail at Carrickmines would “emasculate” Cherrywood and damage the financial interests of the council, which owns some land at Cherrywood.

Cllr Victor Boyhan said whatever councillors did the Minister would invoke his powers under the legislation and was entitled to do so.

Councillors voted 15 to 13 to accept the motion.

County manager Owen Keegan said he would take legal advice about the decision, and return to councillors with a report on how they could proceed with the steps to vary the development plan.

I don’t know what to make of this situation!

I can’t understand why the council would be looking to change their own development plan, which is only a week old!

What is to be gained by zoning in Carrickmines (Google Map)? Is it not the antithesis of proper sustainable development. The Luas will run near by but the whole area has been designed for the motorcar. There’s a time and a place for retail parks, but I really don’t think Dublin needs any more of them right now!

Considering that in the past year DLR councillors have re-opened Dun Laoghaire main street to cars in a bid to help the struggling businesses there, the fact that they are now looking to zone new out-of-town retailing doesn’t make sense. And it’s not just Dun Laoghaire; Sandyford and Stillorgan are in an awful state commercially as well.

On top of all this, these councillors are trying to push development at Carrickmines at the cost of Cherrywood (Google Map), which apparently is a project that the council itself has an investment in.

I watched a little bit of the debate (video here) and I did not see anybody in favour of the Development Plan contravention speak about the urban design or sustainability merits of the proposal. The attitude seemed to be that we should zone it because there’s a few jobs in it.

I’d love to hear some opinions on this. Particularly on Cherrywood VS Carrickmines.

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