Now that itÂ’s no longer printing money for him…..

Home Forums Ireland Now that itÂ’s no longer printing money for him…..

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    • #710385
      Paul Clerkin

      Now that it’s no longer printing money for him, Sean Dunne calls for reform of the planning system.

    • #806080

      One thing that bothers me about Ballsbridge in general, and perhaps about the entire area south of the Liffey. Is ease of access. It seems to invite car traffic to it. I mean, I have a friend who works near the end of the LUAS line at Tallaght. Fair enough, he hops on a LUAS to town, and then what? I was at the Burlington or some hotel, to attend an event one evening, and he didn’t bother to come, because, that last mile from the city centre, as far as Ballsbridge was such a pain in the ass. In fact, in the days, when we had trams running out in that direction, instead of an autobahn highway, the city could have function a lot better. Objections aside, from a point of view of density, scale, style or whatever – that one basic point about accessibility, bothers me no end about inner suburban Dublin.

      It is something that has gone totally un-addressed, and unsolved, by years of planning and discussion. There is huge potential there, both North and South. On that point, Dunne is on the money. The city centre has to make better use of these inner suburban lands, but noone is with him, in terms of transportation or infrastructure. We mostly seem to be busy laughing at the guy for doing a blunder in terms of the ‘sums’. The finance. It would be better if we focussed the discussion on the land itself, what these sites could potentially offer to Dublin, in economic and cultural terms. And to seeing the opportunity presented, by a developer with enough daring to piece together a key strategic site. Albeit, going broke in the process. But, I guess its only money eh? We do need to sort out our cowboy banking system, for the country’s sake. But there are some positives, we still need to see in all this. Heck, if we were waiting for Dublin City Council to piece together that site – even with full compulsory purchase powers – and a state bank, to back it, we would be waiting for ever. This is what developers are good at and useful for, mainly.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

    • #806081

      “One thing that bothers me about Ballsbridge in general, and perhaps about the entire area south of the Liffey. Is ease of access”

      It’s a trip-attractor because people want to go there for various reasons, it’s just a pity they won’t upgrade the public transport infrastructure to cope. I agree, we should be encouraging density in inner urban areas and provide the required public transport facilities too. Sean Dunne’s scheme was too dense but the planners will permit something of plot ratio 3.0 probably, not the plot of 6.0 (in excess of Docklands) that he was looking for. His scheme had the basic elements right in terms of new streets, pedestrian emphasis, active street frontage, mixed use and permeability through the site.

    • #806082

      Yeah, for sure. Its a site which has a way more potential than is currently being used. And the site within the Liffey south region of the city, isn’t served by anything meaningful in terms of access transport. Without which we cannot gauge its potential as an area. The likes of Baggot St, Merrion Sq, Fitzwilliam Sq should all have more vibrancy to them. But they don’t. Because everthing immediately south of the canal, to them, is asleep. A lot of commercial businesses that were in places, like between Ranelagh and the Canal, moved to the pheriphery of the city during the last decade. Again sucking people out of the area. In real terms, there hasn’t been proper study done on the inner suburban areas, and what trends there are really like.

      Attention has focussed on immediate inner city regeneration and improvement. There has been a loss of focus, and opportunity to develop strategy with regard to inner suburban Dublin. Of course, it doesn’t help that hubs could have been created by Metro North (under the chop now). Development of areas around these potential transport hubs (I can think of several key ones) in the north side of the city, will be delayed for perhaps another 25-50 years. Around Phibsboro into Parnell St. The Mater, all of that kind of thing, will stop now, because of pulling the plug on Metro North.

      We need to find some way, that transport infrastructural investment can benefit from windfall land value gains to areas such as around the Mater, Phibsboro, Grangegorman and so on, as a result of improved infrastructure. Trying to finance everything out of ticket sales, seems to be putting a real delay on our infrastructural works. This FT article can be seen on the web at:

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      If we could sort out the financial model associated with the building infrastructure. If the like of Sean Dunne spent his legal budget on studying that, rather than hen-peck-ing for what few scraps are available, we would all be better off. Then we could really open up sites such as Ballsbridge to their fullest potential. But I suppose the course on ‘building our visions’ in Bolton St Quantity Surveying course wasn’t up to snuff in Dunne’s time.

      The land value gains appear to start from the moment, lines are drawn on the map. Not from the moment, the construction of the rail lines are complete and stations are open. It is funny when you see all of the fanfare around the opening of stations like Spencer Dock. As if, the opening of the new station and platforms was going to usher in a further wave of value increases and prosperity. What many fail to understand, is this increase has already been built into the land values of that area, up to ten years previously. And that transportation organisations stand to gain only from the ticket fare revenue going forward. It is that old story of trying to catch the raining soup with a fork. We need to develop our taxation instruments around reality, rather than (mis)perceived reality.

      I was at a historic lecture not too long ago, about the old tram lines of Dublin, and I got the impression that much of Ballsbridge would have been better served by transport back in the olden days. Being sort of ‘en route’ between Dun Laoghaire and Dublin centre.

      Brian O’ Hanlon

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