DCC Notes for October / November 2020

Compiled by David Prendeville

Councillor Daniel Céitinn asked the manager to replace the plastic waist-high illuminated flecta traffic bollards in the central island on the road in Irishtown opposite the bookies as they are untidy and worn looking and take away from the ongoing fantastic work carried out by Ringsend and Irishtown Tidy Towns; and similarly if he will arrange for a repaint of the Sean Moore Road Roundabout near Deke’s Diner as it is taking away from the fantastic work of the Tidy Towns committee. The manager responded that the plastic waist-high illuminated flecta traffic bollards in the central island on the road in Irishtown have now been replaced as requested.

Councillor Dermot Lacey asked the Manager if white line markings can be painted in the car park at The Crescent, Donnybrook. The manager responded that the site has been inspected by the Traffic Officer and will be listed for lining in the next 30 days

Councillor Dermot Lacey asked the manager if he will arrange for a thorough sweep of the Pembroke Cottages/St. Brocs Cottages and Home Villas area of Donnybrook. The manager responded that Waste Management Services had this area thoroughly swept on the 25th September 2020.

Councillor Paddy McCartan said that there is road subsidence at Castle Drive, Sandymount in four locations and asked the manager to deal with this issue as a matter of urgency. The manager responded that a site inspection of Sandymount Castle Drive will be carried out and defects found will be logged for repair.

Councillor Paddy McCartan asked the manager to have bins installed at the two entrances to Herbert Park at Clyde Lane, Ballsbridge. The manager responded that: “Parks, Biodiversity & Landscape Services have placed a Big Belly Bin at the playground opposite the HIVE, which is approximately 40m away from the Clyde Lane entrance at the Ballsbridge end. We will investigate the possibility of relocating a bin within the park to the top end of the park and close to the Clyde Lane park entrance.”

Councillor Paddy McCartan said there is a narrow pathway that runs between Oaklands Park and Sandymount DART station, which is frequently used by pedestrians. He asked could extra lighting be installed and CCTV cameras positioned along the lane way as it is potentially dangerous when darkness falls? The manager’s response was that: “It is the policy of Public Lighting Services not to provide lighting in laneways.”

Councillor Paddy McCartan asked if it would it be possible to get a children’s playing sign on Wilfield Road, Sandymount positioned approximately halfway down the road? There is a pole adjacent to number 66, which is a suitable location. The reply he received was that: “Warning Sign W 142, Children Crossing, used to alert drivers to the danger of children crossing roads in residential areas is in place on Wilfield Road at the junction with Sandymount Avenue and also at its junction with Wilfield Park. Therefore, it is not recommended to introduce any further signage to Wilfield Road.”

Councillor Kevin Donoghue asked the manager how many permits have been granted to construction companies to derogate from the regularly permitted construction hours in the South East Inner City. The response was: “The Planning Authority has granted 174 requests from January 2020 to the end of September for an extension to the permitted working hours from 22 development sites in the South East Inner City.”

Councillor Kevin Donoghue asked the manager if it would be possible to provide planters or additional planting boxes for Whelan & O’Rahilly House in Ringsend.The manager responded that: “Planter boxes can be provided to community spaces as part of the Community Section’s Friends of Green Spaces initiative, which involves local groups and volunteers working in partnership with Dublin City Council. Under this initiative, planter boxes and flowers/shrubs can be provided by Dublin City Council with a commitment from local groups/volunteers to maintain the boxes going forward. Whelan & O’Rahilly House will be examined as a suitable space in the next roll out of planter projects.”

Councillor Claire Byrne asked the Area Manager can he please provide an update on the delivery of the Fitzwilliam Cycle Route. The manager responded that: “The design of the drainage network is causing some delay to the project and now requires the input of a cellar survey to finalise the design.”

Councillor Claire Byrne asked the Area Manager can he please provide an update on the development of the Poolbeg West SDZ, in particular in relation to the competitive process for the Irish Glass Bottle Site, and can the Area Manager confirm whether the commercial agreement has been agreed between DCC and the Department given we have a new Minister for Housing. Manager’s responded saying that the update is that following an Oral Hearing, An Bord Pleanála’s decision on the Poolbeg SDZ Planning Scheme, issued in April 2019, contained the following modification (No. 3): “10% of new residential units provided on the lands included in this Planning Scheme shall be delivered as social housing in accordance with an agreement made with the planning authority pursuant to section 96 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended. Prior to commencement of development, subject to confirmed funding and value for money considerations, a commercial agreement shall be entered into between Dublin City Council, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and the owners/developers of the residential element of the Planning Scheme for the delivery of 15% of the residential units approved on the lands included in this Planning Scheme for social and affordable housing purposes. These units shall be additional to the housing provided for social housing purposes as required above.” The City Council will then commence negotiations in relation to the requirement to enter a tri-partite commercial agreement for the delivery of 15% of the residential units for social and affordable purposes, as soon as the new owners are confirmed.

Councillor James Geoghegan asked the South East Area manager to consider the following submission from the Ailesbury Road Residents’ Association and consider what works can be done:

“Ailesbury Road is used by a constant flow of pedestrians, joggers, cyclists,
schoolchildren and traffic. As winter approaches the lighting along the road is greatly reduced thereby affecting the safety of all of these people. This has been an issue constantly raised by residents, which we have tried to address from time to time over decades. We have been told the lights are being replaced by LED as the need arises but it really is totally inadequate and we ask that it be reviewed by an expert before the darkness sets in.

In tandem with this we find that traffic functions much better when the road lines and junctions are freshly painted – in particular the yellow boxes at the notorious Donnybrook junction. We also believe that a clear positioning arrow at the bottom of the road to turn right onto Merrion Road would ease the blocking of those cars wanting to drive straight ahead – likewise from the Sydney Parade or the Ballsbridge direction at that same crossroads.

From the residents point of view it would also be a safety improvement if the ends of designated parking on the road were not so close to the gates of the affected homes. There is considerable construction related traffic constantly parked on the road and it is very difficult to see past these vehicles if they are right up against the entrance/exit. It is a huge worry that a cyclist or vehicle is coming that cannot be seen and often we have to guess if the way is clear. A small amount of extra space at the
outer limits would enhance visibility. We ask that an engineer or appropriate expert review this as it is very evident upon visiting the road during work hours.”

The manager replied: “The submission from the Ailesbury Road Residents’ Association is noted and is listed with the Area Engineer for examination and report to the Transport Advisory Group, the Councillor will be informed of the outcome. Enquiry No. 7017242 refers. The light fittings on Ailesbury Road between Anglesea Road and Seaview Terrace were replaced with LED lanterns in 2015. The remaining low-pressure sodium (orange colour) lights will also be replaced with LED lanterns as part of a future lighting upgrade project. We consider the installation of additional lighting on Ailesbury Road is not required. However, we will contact the Parks Division to request that the trees be pruned where necessary.”
Councillor Deirdre Conroy asked the manager if the Council Covid Mobility Team can make consultation with resident community groups in the South Georgian Core in terms of substantial environmental impact on Dublin’s historic regions of Merrion Square, Fitzwilliam Street, etc. and that the ‘Fitzwilliam Cycle Route Team’ participate in communication with residents on Fitzwilliam Street, where there are elderly residents, crèche and Montessori pedestrian children impacted by the unnotified works of street paint and bollards.

The manager replied that: “Dublin City Council does not consider that ‘substantial environmental impact’ has occurred in the implementation of the Interim Fitzwilliam Cycle Route scheme. Residents were notified of the implementation of the interim Fitzwilliam Cycle Route via email on Friday 10th October. This email notification informed the residents that the interim Fitzwilliam Cycle Route broadly follows the alignment of the Fitzwilliam Cycle Route and is temporary in nature until the permanent scheme commences construction in Q2 2021 and that the works comprise of minor resurfacing works, relining and the provision of bollards.

The interim scheme does not provide the more permanent type of infrastructure such as kerb upstand segregation on junction approaches and exits as provided within the permanent cycle route scheme. Therefore the implementation of cycle lane protection in the form of ‘shergan bollards’ is required. Shergan bollards provide low-level segregation and protect vehicles encroaching on the cycle lane thus providing security to cyclists travelling in the cycle lane ensuring that the cycle route is suitable for cyclists of all ages and abilities. This type of bollard is widely used across Dublin city and Dublin City Council does not have any safety concerns regarding its use.

The bollards on Merrion Square East and Fitzwilliam St Lower that are the subject of Question No. 5 were removed on the weekend of 24th and 25th October 2020 and shergan bollards were implemented where necessary to ensure the safety of cyclists. At no stage did bollards block access to car parking. Access to some parking was prevented during the implementation of the notified lining works on a rolling basis. However, sufficient parking was maintained for residents and local businesses during this time.

Dublin City Council has not received any communications from any crèches and/or Montessori businesses along this route. If Councillor Conroy has received any correspondence from the businesses outlined in Question 5 or indeed any businesses along this route then these should be forwarded to Dublin City Council for response.”

Councillor Deirdre Conroy asked the manager to request information from assistant chief executive Mr Shakespeare on what is being undertaken so far by the council planning department and conservation department on the historic 40 Herbert Park demolition issue. The manager’s reply was that “No 40 Herbert Park was demolished as part of the Planning Permission granted under SHD legislation by An Bord Pleanála. The building was not on the Record of Protected Structures (RPS) at the time of the board’s decision. On foot of a motion agreed by the City Council on 5th October, the Assistant Chief Executive has written to An Bord Pleanála with the City Council’s request that the decision to grant Planning Permission for 40 Herbert Park be formally revoked by An Bord Pleanála. A response is awaited. In addition, an Enforcement Notice has been issued under Section 154 of the Planning Act in relation to the commencement of development prior to compliance with the conditions of the Planning Permission. A number of compliance conditions have since been submitted, which are currently under assessment.”

Councillor Danny Byrne asked the Manager if a spotlight could be put in place at the new grotto at the new houses in Ringsend. He noted there was one there previously, it just needs to be repaired/upgraded. The manager’s response was that Public Lighting Services has never maintained a light at a grotto at this location. The provision of a spot light for the new grotto is not a public lighting matter.

Councillor Danny Byrne asked the manager if the rubbish bins at the Irishtown nature park could be emptied more regularly given that these walks are currently being used much more regularly than in the past and are getting over filled. The installation of some big belly bins would also be very welcome. The manager’s response was that Waste Management Services will ensure that the above-mentioned litterbins are emptied on a more regular basis. There are no plans at this time to install a big belly bin at this location.

Councillor Danny Byrne asked the manager to fix/make good a section of road at Merrion Square East/Fitzwilliam Street Lower where there is a large dip in the road surface. The manager said the roadway at this location will be inspected and a reply issued directly to the Councillor.

Councillor Kevin Donoghue asked the manager to provide cleansing along the walkway from Ringsend Bridge to Grand Canal Street upper as the area is heavily littered. The manager responded that Waste Management Services had the above mentioned walkway cleaned on the 30th October 2020.

Councillor Daniel Céitinn asked if the Manager could arrange for the tall trees around and along Rosary Terrace in Ringsend to be topped to match or come near in size with the other trees on the Terrace and arrange for repair works for the public pathway which is cracking from the roots of these trees? The manager’s reply was that his footpath will be inspected and a reply issued directly to the Councillor. The trees in question are tall growing Limes (Tilia sps) and contrast to the other trees on the road which are much smaller growing Cherry trees (Prunus sps).

If the Lime trees are pruned as requested, it will result in a high risk of disease and a reduction in the long-term vigour of the trees. Therefore, it is proposed to reduce the height of the trees by 10-15% in keeping with best arboricultural practice. This work is being added to the tree works programme for 2020/’21.

Councillor Daniel Ceitinn asked the Manager can he confirm that the two dead seals that were washed up recently on Sandymount Strand were tested to establish what was their cause of death and if not, why? The manager replied that following recent high tide events, the remains of one dead seal and the partial remains of another were washed up on Sandymount Strand. The first was a large bull (male) seal with no signs of injury or circumstances indicating any suspicious or unusual activity. The second was badly-decomposed and appeared to have been dead for some time. The National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Irish Seal Sanctuary were both contacted to inform them. The NPWS has stated that they only conduct testing in circumstances where there are no signs of suspicious injury. Therefore, DCC Parks, Biodiversity and Landscape Services staff have photographed the seals for the ISS records on seal mortality prior to removing them.