Almost 1,500 new dwellings to be built on the outskirts of Portmarnock
ALMOST 1,500 new dwellings are set to be constructed on the outskirts of Portmarnock, breathing new life to the village, and swelling the population by over 4,000 people.
Fingal County Council recently approved the Portmarnock Local Area Plan which provides for 1,449 new, mostly three bed, units on lands located to the south west of Portmarnock adjoining Portmarnock DART station.
The subject site is bound to the north by Station Road, to the south by the green belt/open space lands adjoining Mayne Road and to the west by the Dublin - Belfast railway line.
Large tracts of land, some 110 hectares, of high amenity lands have also been zoned for public open space and this dedicated area will be developed as the Millennium Park.
A public open space masterplan will be produced and facilities to be provided includes playing pitches, all weather surfaces, changing rooms, children’s play lots, a visitor centre, toilets, depot and ranger facility.
The LAP applies the principle of creating ‘streets not roads’, developing a residential street environment that meets the requirements of vehicles without compromising the safety and quality of the pedestrian street environment.
In general roads within the residential areas will be designed for and have a speed limit of 30 kph.
The local distributor road network will be designed to facilitate access for private cars and service vehicles to residential areas, and for public bus services to the DART station.
The main roads, which currently serve the area, will continue to act as the district distributor road network - Station Road, Strand Road and Mayne Road.
This road network allows good access to the main city network, while protecting the new residential areas from through traffic, and will be improved as necessary to provide for the development of the subject lands.
In the context of road improvements to Station Road, the provision of a separate facility for pedestrians at the existing railway bridge will be provided as part of the first phase of the plan.
A location close to the railway station car park on Station Road is an appropriate place for a small neighbourhood centre, to serve the new community, commuters and the recently-completed residential developments on the north side of the road.
The neighbourhood centre will provide a range of community and commercial facilities, including small shops, pub and restaurant.
In relation to Mayne Road, a preliminary study of upgrade works has already been carried out. Arrangements for full design and construction of the upgrade works are currently underway.
To prevent the overuse of substandard rural roads and the Coast Road, the Mayne Road improvement together with associated bus priority measures, bus lanes, cycle lanes and footpaths will be completed as part of the first phase of the development.
A coastal footpath and cycleway will allow long distance movement along the coast, as part of the continuous coastal access corridor. The routes will be designed following an ecological survey, so to avoid compromising the ecological sensitivity of the natural habitats.
There are no plans to provide a primary or secondary school as it is envisaged that demand for school places generated by development within the plan area can be catered for in existing Portmarnock schools.
In the interests of public safety, the Public Safety Zones Report advises against any new childcare facility that would attract large numbers of people within the area. It is proposed, therefore, to provide a number of smaller crèches or homecare facilities throughout the new residential area.
The LAP will be developed in three phases, with up to 700 housing units developed in conjunction with improvements to Mayne Road and pedestrian and cyclist access to schools.
The village centre will have started and improvements to Portmarnock Station will be complete as will the class two open space provisions.
Phase two refers to the development of up to 1,200 housing units. This will be done in conjunction with the delivery of at least one frequent bus service and development of shops, pub and restaurants in the neighbourhood centre.
The coastal walkway and cycleway will be completed and all works in the public open space programme will also be complete.Phase three will see the construction of the final units and the completion of the remainder of the class two open space.
Fingal Independent 25th may 2006