SDCC to retake controversial Lucan site from Shelbourne Developments

February 18, 2014  

griffeen-avenue-590x400Cllr. William Lavelle, Fine Gael local councilor for Lucan, has welcomed South Dublin County Council’s move to retake ownership from Shelbourne Developments of a controversial 41.5 acre site in Lucan, bounded by Griffeen Avenue, the Outer Ring Road and the Kildare rail line.

Cllr. Lavelle has now received a report from South Dublin County County Council stating that ‘following protracted negotiations between the Council, Shelbourne and NAMA, agreement was reached that Shelbourne would transfer the lands that it had acquired from the Council back to the Council in full and final settlement of all outstanding issues”.

William welcomed this move, stating, By retaking the site, the Council has effectively killed-off the planned development of 898 high-density apartments by Shelbourne Development on these lands. I will now turn my focus to working with the local community to ensure that residents have a say at an early stage on the future for these publicly-owned lands.”

In 2006, the then Council voted unanimously to dispose of the site to Gareth Kelleher’s Shelbourne Developments (of ‘Chicago Spire’ fame) as part of a controversial land-swap. There was significant anger when it emerged that the then councillors did not consult with the local community before agreeing the disposal.

This decision was further compounded by the decision by the then councilors in 2008 to adopt the Clonburris Local Area (LAP) despite significant local opposition. The main concerns regarding the LAP related to the unrealistic 67% target for pubic transport/walking/cycling which was cited as the theoretical basis for the required high densities. Further concerns related to the provisions allowing 6-storey buildings to be built right next door to existing two-storey housing at Oldbridge, Rossberry, Tullyhall, Moy Glas and Foxborough estates.

In line with the LAP adopted by the then councilors, Shelbourne Developments subsequently secured planning permission to build 898 high-density residential units on the land-swap site, despite a large campaign of objections from the community through the ‘Combined Griffeen Planning Action Group’, of which William was a member.

William states: “It is these poor decisions by the last 2004-2009 council which sparked me to seek election to the council in June 2009.”

“Since my election I have worked to seek to overturn both the controversial 2006 land disposal decision and the Clonburris LAP.”

“With respect to the Local Area Plan, the council agreed in recent months that it would be allowed to lapse later this year.”

“With respect to the land disposal, I have repeatedly raised this at numerous council meetings as well as directly with council officials and the council law agent. Last year the Council initiated legal action against Shelbourne Development and last week I received confirmation from the council’s Director of Planning that ‘following protracted negotiations between the Council, Shelbourne and NAMA, agreement was reached that Shelbourne would transfer the lands that it had acquired from the Council back to the Council in full and final settlement of all outstanding issues’”.

William added: “I am delighted that two of my top election priorities from 2009: securing reversal of the land-swap and cancellation of the high-rise Local Area Plan, are now to be achieved.”

Lavelle welcomes council vote to make changes to Adamstown – Ireland’s first SDZ

February 10, 2014  

adamstown_01– Changes designed to kickstart residential building and to ensure Adamstown is not left as another unfinished development

– Agreement on changes to bring forward new road developments and to strengthen public transport provision – to take traffic pressure off Newcastle Road

William Lavelle, Fine Gael local councillor for Lucan, has welcomed the vote by South Dublin County Council today to amend the Adamstown Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) planning scheme. 

Adamstown was Ireland’s first SDZ, with the planning scheme adopted in 2003. However development has stalled since 2009 and to date only 1,250 residential units have been occupied.

The changes agreed today follow a lengthy public consultation process which included two public consultation meetings last April, a further two public consultation meeting last November and a written submission stage.

The changes agreed by the Council includes a 20% reduction in the overall number of residential units permitted.  Residential densities have been reduced from a range of 53 – 64 units per hectare to range of 44-51. This revised density range remains at the upper of the best practice guidance for medium density sustainable development at outer suburban locations as laid down in the 2009 Government ‘Guidelines on Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas’. (DEHLG)  This density change will reduce the overall number of residential units permitted in Adamstown from 10,000 to 8,145 units.

William states: “In real terms the change in density will allow more flexibility to provide more terraced town-housing in place of the apartment/duplex models which dominated to date. These changes will hopefully kickstart sustainable development in Adamstown. This will help meet demand and support jobs while ensuring that Adamstown is not left as another unfinished development which was local residents’ worst fear.”

Further changes, also agreed today, were proposed by William and were subject to dedicated meetings between councillors, council planners and the National Transport Authority.

William states: “As local councillor for Lucan and Adamstown, I am very aware of the traffic congestion at Newcastle Road. I have been clear in telling council planners that Newcastle Road cannot be expected to take more traffic! I proposed and secured agreement on important changes to the Adamstown masterplan to bring forward new road developments and strengthen public transport provision; so as to take traffic pressure off Newcastle Road!”

The transport changes include:

– Bringing forward of the opening of new roads links from Adamstown to Dodsboro Road and Celbridge Road

This will help to take pressure off Newcastle Road at an earlier stage.

– Requirement to address existing traffic problems at Newcastle Road

Measures will be examined and implemented to improve traffic flow remove the bottleneck between Superquinn and the N4 (while maintaining school pedestrian safety).

Introduction, for the first time, of a requirement (by phase 5) for a direct rail link to city centre

The National Transport Authority have advised that they will facilitate this by reopening the Phoenix Park rail tunnel, to be followed eventually by DART Underground.

-Requirement for development of bus capacity to serve Adamstown at each phase of development

The National Transport Authority will be involved in overseeing this.


William also secured changes to protect the character of Adamstown.  

William explained: “In response to concerns from existing Adamstown residents that a reduction in density could result in poorer quality design compared to the high-quality design to date, I have proposed and secured agreement with management (to be ratified by full council tomorrow) on a further amendment to the planning scheme requiring the provision of high quality design and finishes; and further explicitly empowering the planning authority to apply planning permission conditions addressing design issues.”

Councillors also voted to protect the early delivery of community infrastructure including the requirement for a large community centre and all-weather pitches in the current phase.

The Council voted to agree a cross-party amendment tabled by Councillor’s William Lavelle (Fine Gael), Eamon Tuffy (Labour) and Guss O’Connell (Independent) which prevented the proposed deferral of the phasing requirement for a new swimming pool from the current ceiling of 2,600 residential units to a new ceiling of 4,600 units.

It is still possible for the council decision on amendments to be appealed to an Bord Pleanala.

SDCC Community & Environmental Grants

February 2, 2014  

As local councillor, William has supported community groups and residents associations in Lucan to apply for thousands of euros worth of grants from South Dublin County Council.

Environmental Improvement Grants for Residents Associations & Community Groups

South Dublin County Council offers Environmental Improvement Grants to local groups.

This grant is aimed at assisting groups in actively seeking to improve their environment through:

Lucan Tidy Towns at Sarsfield Park - 540x400

-Tree & shrub planting programmes which must be agreed with Parks/Roads Department;

  • – Purchase of name stones for estates;

– Purchase of equipment;

  • – Purchase paint, brushes etc required to paint boundary walls & railings;
  • – Other improvements which are approved by the Community Services Department.

The maximum grant is €500.

This grant cannot be used to make payments to individuals or Companies who carry out environmental improvements on behalf of the group/organisation.

Community Grants (including start-up grants)

Residents Associations and other community grants can apply for:

  • Start Up Costs for Community Groups
  • Running Costs Grant for Community Groups
  • Support for Community Development
  • Community Activity Grant

The maximum grant is normally €500.

For more details…

Forms and booklet can be downloaded at:

For assistance, please contact William at 087 410 7885 or


New Kishogue Community College to open in September 2014

January 25, 2014  

William has welcomed the significant progress in the delivery of the new Kishogue Community College for the Lucan South area. Kishogue Community College will open to students this September.

The college will be run by the Dublin-Dun Laoghaire ETB (formerly Co. Dublin VEC) in partnership with Educate Together. The enrolment principles for the College will prioritise children living in/attending schools in the Lucan South area.

William stated: “When I was elected to the Council in 2009, I identified a second-level school for the Lucan South area as my No.1 priority. This was at a time when Lucan was facing a future second-level place shortage, which was not helped with the Fianna Fail Minster for Education Mary Hanafin saying that local children should travel outside Lucan!!!”

“I am delighted that our campaign for secondary school was therefore successful.”

Previously as planning consultant to the Lucan South Secondary School Action Group, William drafted the changes to the Council Development Plans which secured, for the first time, a commitment to delivery of this school.

When elected a Councillor, William prioritised the sale of a site by the Council to the Department of Education;

Planning permission was granted for development of the school in 2013.

Construction is now underway on a site close to the Outer Ring Road.

The first Principal of the College was appointed last week. The new Principal is Mr. Niall Hares who is current Principal of Confey Community College in Co. Kildare. William stated: “I wish Mr. Hare all the very best in his new role and I welcome this appointment which marks another step forward in our long campaign for a new second-level school for the Lucan South area.” 

Artist’s impression above forms part of planning application prepared by McCullough Mulvin Architects and submitted by Co. Dublin VEC.


Lavelle addresses Lucan’s large Kerala Indian community at New Years celebration

January 5, 2014  

Lucan Malayalee - 540x400William Lavelle, local councillor for Lucan, has joined the Lucan Malayalee Club for their New Years Celebration.

The club which is eight years old provides a social platform for Lucan and Adamstown’s large community of Kerala Indians, known as Malayalee. Lucan and Adamstown is the chosen home of nearly 100 Malayalee families, whose roots lie the Kerala region of southern India.

Cllr. Lavelle addressed the Lucan Malayalee Club’s New Year Celebration held on Saturday 4th January in Scoil Lorcain in Palmerstown.

William “thanked the Malayalee community fro playing an active role in community life in Lucan”. William also commended the club on its “important role in preserving and passing on Kerala’s rich culture, including song and dance to their children in Lucan.” William congratulated the organisers and performers at the New Years Celebration which he described “a super showcase for Malayalee song, dance and food.”

William also helped the Lucan Malayalee Club to launch their new website



Protecting the Liffey Valley – Lavelle meets new owners of St. Ed’s

December 12, 2013  

St.Eds auction signWilliam has met with the Chief Executive of Luttrelstown Castle Golf & Country Club who confirmed to that his company has acquired the 274 acre land bank at St. Edmundsbury.

 The new owners advised William that the St. Ed’s lands had been acquired as a long term investment. They further indicated to William that a local farmer had been appointed to farm the lands and that two houses which were occupied up until recent years, are to be refurbished.

 William took the opportunity to inform the new owners of the Lucan community’s long-held opposition to any residential development on these lands.

 William stated: As a local resident; and as your local councillor; I will continue to campaign to ensure the highest levels of protection for the Liffey Valley lands and to oppose any and all proposals for inappropriate development!”

The lands are subject to a dedicated ‘Liffey Valley’ land zoning; which William first proposed and drafted in 2010; and which was subsequently adopted by councillors as part of the current County Development Plan. 

William also took the opportunity to ask if the new owners would examine, in conjunction with South Dublin County Council, the potential of providing walking routes along the River Liffey.  William has also tabled this proposal for the December meeting of the council’s Lucan Area Committee.



William joined by Irish Cancer Society CEO at Movember Coffee Morning

November 30, 2013  

Movember Coffee MorningWilliam was joined by John McCormack, Chief Executive of the Irish Cancer Society, at a coffee morning in La Banca Restaurant for the Lucan Movember Campaign

Over the past four weeks, you probably wouldn’t have got served a pint in Kenny’s of Lucan, or dined in La Banca restaurant, or got your hair cut in Paddy’s Barbers, without being served by one of the Lucan Mo’s.

Some of those who joined William in growing mo’s include:

  • Staff of Kenny’s of Lucan
  • Staff of Paddy’s Barbers, Lucan Village
  • Keith Kenny of La Banca Restaurant. Keith also recently published a cook book ‘Cookability’ with proceeds going to the Irish Cancer Society. Keith is regular chef on TV3’s ‘Late Lunch’ programme
  • Ed Griffin of Esker Amateur Boxing Club
  • Ciaran Duffy of Lucan Community College
  • Olag Sivanantham of Adamstown Cricket Club
  • And many more…

Speaking at the Coffee Morning, William stated: “During the campaign one thing became very clear to me. There is a phenomenal level of admiration and respect among the people of Lucan and Ireland for the work of Irish Cancer Society. I suppose we should not be surprised. The Society provides fantastic services for those suffering from cancer and regrettably there are very few families not touched by cancer.”

“According to the National Cancer Registry, one in three people in Ireland will develop cancer during their lifetime, while an average of 30,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year. The number is expected to rise to over 40,000 per year by 2020.”

“More worryingly, prostate cancer rates in Ireland are the highest in Europe and amongst the highest in the world. This year in Ireland, around 9,700 men will be diagnosed with cancer, and 4,200 men will lose their lives to the disease. However prostate cancer is 90% curable if it is treated in its earliest stages. “

“I wish to thank everybody who has donated to the Lucan Movember Campaign including those who will be attending our final fundraising events this week. Hopefully our community effort here in Lucan will have helped in a small way in the fight against cancer. If it has, then all the funny looks we have got this month will have been worth it!”




Lavelle intervenes following disgrace of overflowing litter bins

November 12, 2013  

Statement by William:

Litter Bins - 540x400At present SDCC will not empty litter bins at the weekend. On Sunday 3rd November I observed three litter bins overflowing in Lucan Village. In one case, the area around the bin was heavily and disgustingly littered. See attached photo. I took photos of the overflowing litter bins and sent these to Council managers on Sunday evening. On the evening of Monday 4th November, I was contacted by John Kenny of Kennys Pub to advise that the bins were not emptied and the area not cleansed. John sent a further photo. See attached. I immediately rang the head of the SDCC Environmental Services to complain. On the following Tuesday morning, on foot of my intervention, three SDCC staff attended at 9.30am to empty bins and tidy the area. I am advised that the matter is still being investigated by SDCC management.

I further raised this matter at the November County Council meeting, where I made the following comments 

I find it very hard to explain why bins are not emptied on a Sunday. I find it much harder to justify why bins are not emptied on a Monday… and I find it absolutely impossible to explain why the areas around the bin were not swept given that Lucan Village is supposed to have a permanent hand-cart service. 

If it was not for the hard work of Lucan Tidy Towns, of which I am a volunteer member, Lucan Village would be a lot worse littered.

We spend a small fortune on council litter management services. But I do not believe we are getting either an effective or efficient service in return

Businesses who pay rates and residents who now pay their property tax expect better from their Council.

I commend Council management on their efforts to reform and improve service provision. It is regrettable that these efforts are meeting resistance (from unions).

 I called for introduction of weekend emptying of bins and a more flexible approach to using council resources and budgets to address litter blackspots.


Lavelle selected for 2014 local elections

October 2, 2013  

Local Councillor William Lavelle has been selected by Fine Gael to contest the 2014 local elections in the Lucan/Palmerstown area.

William stated: “I’m honoured to have been selected by Fine Gael to contest the 2014 local elections. I wish to thank two Beech Park residents: Joe Byrne and Brenda Coyne (Chair of Lucan Branch FG) for proposing and seconding my nomination at tonight’s convention.”

In his speech to the selection convention, William told delegates that “I am proud to call Lucan my home, proud to serve our community as your local councillor… and with your support and selection tonight I hope to ask the people of Lucan to let me continue in that task.”

William wished all the best to Lucan’s Vicki Casserly-Naughton and Palmerstown’s Gerry Kennedy who will join William on the FG ticket.

William said: “I look forward to working with Vicki and Gerry to seek to deliver three seats for Fine Gael in the Lucan/Palmerstown area in next May’s election.”

Free WiFi for Lucan Village

May 18, 2013  

– Proposal first tabled by Cllr. William Lavelle in February
– Local businesses, led by River Café, to house equipment supported by SDCC
– Free WiFi represent first ‘big win’ for Lucan Village Network

Local businesses in Lucan Village, led by Michael Keane of the River Café, this week joined with Cllr. William Lavelle, local councillor and Chair of the Lucan Village Network in welcoming theintroduction of free WiFi in Lucan Village.

This follows a proposal initiated by Cllr. William Lavelle at the February meeting of the Council’s Lucan Area Committee. In response, the Council has worked with William and with local businesses including the River Café, Kenny’s Vesey Arms, Fresh’n’Fruity and McAllisters Fish.

The Council has worked with a third party supplier to secure the required infrastructure.

Michael Keane of the River Café stated: “It is great news for Lucan Village that it has been selected for the Wifi project. It is also great to see that all the hard work of Lucan Village Network is bearing fruit. That South Dublin County Council is supporting WiFi in the village is very encouraging for future enhancements. The Lucan Village Network continues to drive initiatives for the improvement of our village amenities and we hope to get support for these in the near future.”

Cllr. William Lavelle stated: “The provision of free WiFi in Lucan Village represents the first ‘big win’ for Lucan Village Network and our efforts to attract more visitors to Lucan Village. I wish to thank the Council IT Department for their active support in responding to my proposal and I wish to commend local businesses for their proactive and enthusiastic approach in helping to introduce this important new initiative.”

William is pictured with Gerry Kenny of Kennys Vesey Arms, Michael Keane of The River Cafe and Dave McAllister of McAllisters Fish

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