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People Before Profit Propose Radical Changes To Draft County Development Plan For Dun Laoghaire-rath

category dublin | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Wednesday November 04, 2009 16:03author by People Before Profit Report this post to the editors

Cllrs Richard Boyd Barrett and Hugh Lewis of the People Before Profit Alliance (PBPA) have submitted over 80 motions (see attached) to radically amend the new Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown draft County Development Plan 2010-2016 for a seies of special Council meetings on the plan that commence today (Nov 4th) at 5pm in County Hall and will continue through November.

The large number of motions submitted, represent an effort by PBPA to radically shift the priorities and objectives of the Council in terms of the economic, social and environmental development in the County, and to establish more throrough-going forms of public participation in the planning and development process.

The PBPA motions propose a plan that will prioritise job creation, public enterprise, social housing, public service provision, progressive environmental measures and a high level of public participation in contrast to previous plans that have primarily focused on facilitating intensive profit driven property development.

PBPA say the motions they have submitted, which follow on from a similarly detailed PBPA submission on the draft plan made earlier this year, represent an effort to radically re-direct the thrust of the County Manager ’s own draft plan.

PBPA believe the current draft fails to take any account of the dramatic change in circumstances resulting from the current economic crisis, in terms of dealing with its consequences or in any serious way addressing the misguided development polices that helped fuel the property bubble in the first place.

Cllr Richard Boyd Barrett said:

The manager’s draft plan is just a rehash of previous plans – plans which at best failed to prevent the crazy profit driven development that has crashed the economy and, at worst, directly contributed to it.

The draft plan says nothing about the severe unemployment crisis we face and the need to take urgent action to create jobs and genuinely sustainable industry. It says nothing about the scandal of thousands of empty properties in the hands of developers, while more than four thousand families rot on the housing list in the county. These are the crucial issues that must be addressed in a new plan.

The current draft continues to leave the door open to developers, who want to restart the development madness, whether it is in the harbour, on the seafront or in areas where massive and hugely suspect re-zonings in favour of developers took place. It fails to reform the existing mechanisms of "public consultation," which are curently inadequate and tokenistic.

Now, more than ever, land and assets – most of which will soon effectively be public property anyway under NAMA - need to be developed in the public interest and in a way that is economically and environmentally sustainable in the long-term.

We are calling for the Council to directly act to create jobs and develop sustainable industry and to focus on development for social need rather than development for its own sake or for private profit.

We also have a particular concern to see Dun Laoghaire and Blackrock baths, Dun Laoghaire Harbour , the Carlisle Pier, Bullock Harbour , Moran’s Park and the seafront generally, protected and enhanced as public amenities and heritage sites.

We want policies that prioritise the protection and enhancement of the unique maritime, natural and architectural heritage of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, instead of developer driven polices that have facilitated serious damage to the character of our area in recent years.”

Cllr Hugh Lewis said:

“We are proposing a whole range of new specific local objectives relating to the protection, upgrading and new provision of public and youth amenities in locations important to the public and especially in neglected council areas.

Communities such as Ballybrack, Loughlinstown, Sallynoggin, Monkstown Farm and central Dun Laoghaire have been badly neglected; we want to see them regenerated and properly provided for in terms of facilities and amenities.

We are also proposing the down-zoning of controversial sites such as Cherrywood and Woodbrook/Shangangh, which were re-zoned in suspicious circumstances, to put it mildly. We want new objectives set for their future use, focused on providing for public needs, with things like allotments, amenities, necessary social housing, and sustainable local industry and agriculture.

If the current economic crisis tells us anything, it is that public, social and environmental needs must be identified first and development policies must flow from that. In this regard, the Council’s draft plan is upside down. Our motions are an attempt to turn things the right way up.”

For more info/confirmation

Richard Boyd Barrett 087-6329511
Hugh Lewis 087-3276267

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