Lavelle welcomes €1.5m saving from renegotiation of Part V housing agreements

March 12, 2013  

Cllr. William Lavelle, local councillor for Lucan, has this week welcomed the savings of in excess of €1.5m made by South Dublin County Council as a result of the first renegotiation of an agreement with a private developer to provide social and affordable housing in Adamstown in Lucan.

Under Part V of the Planning & Development Act 2000, developers can be required to provide up to 20% of unit in private residential developments for purposes of social and affordable housing. Such provision is normally governed by contractual agreements made between the developer and the relevant local authority.

However, many contractual agreements currently in force were made pre-2010 when house prices were much higher. This means that if these units were built by the developer, the council could be required to pay inflated ‘Celtic Tiger’ era prices to acquire such units even though the remainder of units in the specific development could be sold directly to home-buyers at current market prices.

In March 2011, Cllr. Lavelle asked council managers to seek to renegotiate these pre-2010 agreements and has continued these calls over the past two years.

At today’s March 2013 meeting, Cllr. Lavelle sought an update by tabling two questions.

In response, the council reported that “to date the Council has successfully renegotiated the terms of 1 pre – 2010 Part V agreement. The revised agreement relates to the development in Castlegate, Adamstown resulting in savings of in excess of €1.5m to the Council at this point in time. Active negotiations are ongoing in respect of 2 other developments, namely Tallaght Cross and Saggart Lodge to secure revised Part V arrangements in accordance with current housing market conditions.

Cllr. Lavelle stated: “I welcome the significant savings realised through this first renegotiation. It would by outrageous if taxpayers and ratepayers had to foot the bill because their local council was required pay inflated ‘Celtic Tiger’ era prices for units which now cost significantly less.

“I wish the council all the very best in the ongoing negotiations with respect to other pre-2010 Part V agreements and I hope further substantial savings can be achieved.”

Lavelle welcomes review of Adamstown masterplan

March 12, 2013  

– Councillor secured agreement for review at recent council meeting
– 10 years since plans adopted for Ireland’s newest town
– 1,249 occupied units in Adamstown – Lavelle says “Adamstown is no ‘ghost estate’.”

Cllr. William Lavelle, local councillor for Lucan, has this week welcomed the planned review by South Dublin County Council of the Adamstown SDZ masterplan. The strategic development zone planning scheme is 10 years old this year, having been adopted in 2003 as an ambitious plan for Ireland’s newest town.

At the January meeting of the Council’s Lucan Area Committee, William tabled a motion: “That this Area Committee recognises the importance of Adamstown SDZ Planning Scheme in guiding the sustainable development to date of Adamstown, but recommends that it would be appropriate during 2013, ten years after its adoption, to review the SDZ Planning Scheme including, in particular, the phasing requirements; and to provide the residents of Adamstown an opportunity to input on the future planning of their community.”

Council managers accepted William’s request, reporting that: “Review of the Adamstown SDZ Planning Scheme forms part of the Planning Department work programme for 2013. The Local Area Committee was briefed on this and other matters related to the 2013 forward planning work programme prior to the January Area Committee Meeting. The review process will facilitate input from all interested parties, including in particular, Adamstown residents.”

Councillors were last week advised that the Council was initiating the statutory process to amend the Adamstown SDZ Planning Scheme and that the process will include ‘pre-plan’ public consultation from 25th March to 22nd April 2013 and will include facilitated sessions for residents, landowners and other stakeholders.

Latest statistics indicate that of the 1,400 units commenced, there are 1,249 occupied residential units in Adamstown – meaning an 89% occupancy rate.

William states: “These figures prove that Adamstown is no ‘ghost estate’. It has a vibrant residential population. But the changed economic climate has seriously stalled the development outlook for Adamstown. I feel it is therefore timely that we update the Adamstown masterplan and that residents play a central role in the future planning of their community.”

William has recently met with representatives of the new Adamstown Residents Association regarding the consultation process and a proposal to establish a resident’s planning group. William has also met with representatives of the Adamstown Community College Parents Association, Adamstown Cricket Club and with both Castlethorn Developments, who developed the southern ‘Castlegate’ area of Adamstown; and with Grant Thornton, who are the court-appointed Receivers overseeing completion of the northern ‘Paddocks’ area of Adamstown

William commented that: “having spoken with many Adamstown residents I believe that the upcoming review should include a number of key objectives including:
– Revising the phasing of much-needed community infrastructure such as the long-awaited Sports/Community Hall and the first large park;
– Linking up the Castlegate & Paddocks areas so as to consolidate the Adamstown community; and
– Revising residential densities and parking ratios so as to ensure that future development is both sustainable and realistic.”

William added: “As local councillor, I am committed to ensuring that Adamstown is not simply left as an unfinished development.”

William pictured with Minister Frances Fitzgerald and members of Adamstown Cricket Club

Lucan’s Joe Byrne wins ‘Community Volunteer of the Year’

January 28, 2013  

Beech Park resident Joe Byrne has been named ‘Community Volunteer of the Year’ at the 2013 Local Authority Members Association Awards.

Joe was nominated by Cllr. William Lavelle in recognition of his four decades of community activity with Lucan Sarsfields, Liffey Sound FM, Lucan Planning Council and Liffey Valley Park Alliance.

William congratulated Joe describing him as “a true champion of the community”.

William pictured with Joe & Margaret Byrne, Miriam O’Callaghan & Minister Phil Hogan

Lavelle welcomes South Dublin vote to reduce development levies

January 14, 2013  

Fine Gael councillors had repeatedly called for levy reduction so as to support jobs and investment

Cllr. William Lavelle, Fine Gael councillor for Lucan, has today the vote by South Dublin County Council to significantly reduce development levies. This follows a three year campaign by Fine Gael councillors to reverse the previous 33% increase in levies voted through by the Sinn Fein-Labour majority in December 2009.

The new scheme adopted at today’s council meeting provides for a levy on non-residential development of €81.65 per square metre, reduced from the current rate of €111, representing a complete reversal of the previous 2009 increase. The draft scheme also provides for a levy on residential development of €88.27 per square metre, reduced from the current rate of €120. This scheme also includes a number of exemptions aimed at supporting small businesses who wish to develop or extend their premises.

William states: “In 2009 the Sinn Fein-Labour majority on South Dublin County Council controversially voted to increase development levies on new business premises by an outrageous 33%. This increase was opposed by Fine Gael and since then we have repeatedly called for a reversal in this increase”.

Last year the council’s Economic Development policy committee agreed to review the Development Contribution Scheme. A sub-group of the Committee, of which William was a member, met regularly to thrash out a new scheme. This work was informed by an independent consultant’s review of the current Development Levy Scheme.

Commenting on the newly-adopted scheme William stated: “I warmly welcome the decision to reduce these levies, in particular the reversal of the 2009 increase in levies on commercial development. I have consistently argued that commercial development levies act as an unfair burden on local businesses, in particular small businesses, who despite the recession seek to expand their operations and premises.”

“I believe that in reducing these levies we are be sending out a strong message that South Dublin County is open for business and investment!”

Lavelle welcomes council approval for 12th Lock road upgrade

December 10, 2012  

Development will greatly improve safety, in particular for children walking and cycling to and from Lucan Sarsfields GAA club

Cllr. William Lavelle, local councillor for Lucan, has today (Monday 10th December) welcomed the vote by South Dublin County Council to approval for a Part 8 planning application for a major upgrade of the Lucan-Newcastle road between Adamstown and the Polly Hops.

William stated: “I have been a consistent campaigner for road improvements in the 12th Lock area.
“This road upgrade scheme will greatly improve safety for motors, pedestrians and cyclists, in particular for children walking and cycling to and from Lucan Hartsfield GAA clubs. I have been regularly contacted by parents of children playing with Sarsfields asking for safety improvements so this development is very welcome.

“I have also been in regular contact with club officials from both Lucan Sarsfields and Lucan Pitch & Putt and I wish to thank council engineers for working with the clubs to ensure that the road plans are acceptable.

William also thanked council officials for the proposed measures to eliminate any negative impact on the heritage and biodiversity in the 12th Lock and Grand Canal area.

Lavelle welcomes proposals to cut development levies to support local business and investment

October 20, 2012  

Lucan councillor had repeatedly called for reversal of controversial 2009 increase in commercial development levies

Cllr. William Lavelle, Fine Gael councillor for Lucan, has this week welcomed a proposed new development levy schemes which is now on display for public consultation.

The new scheme proposes a reduction in levies on both residential and commercial development as had been called for by Fine Gael. Read more

Lavelle welcomes significant breakthrough in long-running taking-in-charge saga

September 23, 2012  

– Legal documentation finally submitted to the council to allow taking-in-charge of open space at the access road to Rossberry, Tullyhall and Haydens Park

 – Cllr. Lavelle has had this issue on the agenda for every meeting of the Lucan Area Committee for the past two years

 Cllr. William Lavelle has welcomed the significant break-through in the long-running saga relating to taking-in-charge of open space at the access road to Rossberry, Tullyhall and Haydens Park. Cllr. Lavelle has received confirmation that the legal documentation required for the taking-in-charge has finally been submitted to the council.

These three estates have been built for over 14 years, yet in all that time the open space has not been handed over to the council. As a result the grass has been often left to grow long and this open space has been often left unkempt to the frustration of local residents.

Cllr. Lavelle has sought to progress this taking-in-charge since being first elected to the council and he has welcomed the submission of legal documentation.

Cllr. Lavelle states: “I have had this issue on the agenda for every meeting of the Lucan Area Committee for the past two years as well as holding regular meetings with council management to seek to progress the taking-in-charge. I have not given up on this issue and I have received significant support from local residents.

“I am delighted that these efforts have now resulted in the submission of legal documentation. While it will take a few weeks to verify and process the necessary legal work, I am very hopeful that we are reaching a final satisfactory conclusion to this long-running saga.

 

Lavelle announces €1,500 equipment grant for Esker Amateur Boxing Club

August 25, 2012  

 Cllr. William Lavelle, local councillor for Lucan, has announced that council managers will recommend a €1,500 equipment grant for Esker Amateur Boxing Club at next meeting of the Lucan Area Committee.

Cllr. Lavelle, who has been a big supporter of Esker ABC made the announcement at a show organised by the club.

William states: “Esker Boxing Club is providing a valuable sporting outlet for many local boys and girls. Following the superb success of Irish boxers at the London Olympics I have no doubt that we will see an increased focus on amateur boxing. We are very fortunate in Lucan to have two fine clubs working with so many young people. I wish to commend Ed Griffin, Martin O’Connell and all involved in developing Esker Boxing Club.

William added: “In recent weeks I had pressed council managers to provide some funding to the club and I have now been advised that on foot of my request a recommendation will go the next meeting of the Lucan Area Committee seeking approval for €1,500 grant to support the club in purchasing equipment. I am delighted to have been able to support the club with this grant.

Another victory for the community as Griffeen Centre takeaway is refused

May 21, 2012  

Cllr. William Lavelle and Minister Frances Fitzgerald have welcomed the decision by An Bord Pleanala to refuse planning permission for a controversial proposed takeaway at the Griffeen Centre follwoing their joint appeal along with the Griffeen Glen Residents Association, individual residents and local businesses. The campaign was also supported by Cllr. Emer Higgins and local schools in the area.

 “This decision represents a big win for local residents. A takeaway being developed right next to a school and youth café would have had very serious negative consequences for local children. This is yet another example of inappropriate developments being granted permission by the Council and I am very pleased that An Bord Pleanala have upheld our appeal and overturned the Council’s decision,” said Fitzgerald.

This decision comes in the wake of the Council’s decision not to grant permission for a takeaway at a nearby store in Foxborough and the refusal of two similar takeaway applications at Rosscourt. Minister Fitzgerald went on to pay tribute to the energetic local campaign mounted by residents and residents associations in the area on this issue.

“I would like to thank all the residents in the Griffeen area who ran such a successful campaign on this. I also acknowledge the work of local Councillors, particularly William Lavelle, who worked very hard on this issue. This decision was a victory for the community. A granting of permission would not have been in the best interests of either the local environment or residents and I am glad that An Bord Pleanala recognised that, despite the Council’s failure to take on board what local residents and businesses were saying,” continued Minister Fitzgerald.

“The decision by An Bord Pleanala to uphold our review was primarily on the basis that this application was contrary to Policy S16 of the Planning Authority which states that the provision of restaurants and takeaways will be strictly controlled. This decision vindicates the policy objectives adopted by local Councillors. At a national level I am continuing to work closely with Minister Jan O’Sullivan T.D. on new national planning guidelines that could restrict the provision on new take aways close to schools and youth facilities,” concluded Fitzgerald.

Cllr. William Lavelle also welcomed the decision citing it as a ‘hat trick of local planning victories’.

“I am delighted to be able to support yet another victory for proper planning in Lucan. This decision by An Bord Pleanala marks a hat trick of refusals in the Lucan area which will help make Lucan a healthier residential environment,” said Cllr. Lavelle.

 “In our appeal we contend that this proposed takeaway represents an over-intensification of takeaway usage at the Griffeen Centre which is zoned residential.  As a result this development would have had a significant detrimental impact of the residential amenity of the area in particular of the Griffeen Glen Boulevard residential area through compounding the existing problems of traffic, noise, litter and general disturbance as well as having had an overly-negative impact on the heath and well-being of the local community; and in particular of children. This decision is a victory for our area,” concluded Cllr. Lavelle.
 

Lavelle secures council order for demolition of anti-social blackspot

May 7, 2012  

Cllr William Lavelle, Local Councillor for Lucan has this week welcomed the news that on foot of his initiative, South Dublin County Council has issued orders under dangerous buildings legislation requiring the demolition of the derelict hayshed structure on the Coolamber site at Finnstown and requiring the permanent closing-up of a gap in railings at the rear of the site facing the residential area of Finnsview Read more

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