The Dodder Greenway is a proposed walking and cycling trail running from the source in rural Tallaght down to the sea in Ringsend, 14 km of it will run through South Dublin County Council.
Tallaght Community Council say that following years of talk, to see the actual proposals emerging by way of a formal planning project by SDCC in the live Part 8 consultation is welcomed by those wanting to see the Dodder Valley region sensitively developed and actively maintained to encourage the diverse wildlife while facilitating more positive human engagement and activity with the river and parklands.
TCC reviewed the extensive Part 8 plan for the SDCC region, which is a large set of plans, broken down into smaller sections from Bohernabreena in rural Tallaght to where the route enters Dublin City Council’s lands in Rathfarnham.
Tara De Buitléar, the voluntary PRO of TCC described the Part 8 review process:
“We had been expecting the plans for some time, and wanted to be an active participant into the planning process as we believe the Dodder Greenway is a vital element of Tallaght – the river & valley is the spine of Tallaght physically & historically.
“But the scale of the review task was significant, particularly for volunteers juggling other competing commitments.
“We had to review over 11 separate maps of the proposed route in Tallaght to identify all the various elements of the proposed route and associated works to roads and parklands along the Tallaght stretch.
“Analysing this proposal was not for the faint hearted – the maps were heavy with detail and symbols ranging from the light tree planting to the significant new installations of bridges, toucan crossings, parking bays, pathway changes and car parks. It was time intensive as we were conscious not to miss any detail and to assess the full impact of the sum of all the proposed features in each section.
“We also had to review all other maps of the Templeogue and Rathfarnham sections to assess the proposed quality across the common features e.g. greenway entrances and bridges. This comparison identified standard gaps which concern us.
“This significant Part 8 has run concurrently with 2 other significant Part 8s in Tallaght, so our finite resources have been stretched this Summer.
“The pre-Part 8 meetings with SDCC had helped tee up some of the key elements, but the task was still considerable to carefully and fully review, interpret and assess each section of the route.”
TCC has made a formal submission to the Part 8 process, which assesses and gives community feedback on each section. It runs to over 30 pages and contains over 50 requests to amend, enhance or drop proposed featured from the plan for the 14 Km SDCC route. Anyone can make a submission in writing or online, it is free to make a submission to this Part 8 plan.
The key highlights of the TCC submission include:
1) This route should have a positive impact on tourism – along the FULL route – starting West and evenly spread along the route.
2) The heritage along the full route needs to be celebrated – we want to leverage this project to create a strong presence of Tallaght heritage.
3) Every entrance to the greenway or Dodder Valley Park will be treated in the same in design terms – some Tallaght entrances are weaker than corresponding entrances further east
4) Both Banks of the Dodder will be treated equally in terms of investment, leveraging potential and investment
5) The car park in Ellensborough in being located in a mature residential setting & needs to be of the highest design and safety standards &, a reasonable scale
6) All removed boundaries need the highest standards of replacement
7) The proposed new toucan crossings and altering existing crossing on the Old Bawn Road needs a full traffic assessment – this is already a current bottleneck over the 4 peak times daily. The frequency proposed will mean there are 6 crossings from the Seskin View Road to the Old Mill. We oppose such a frequency of always-on crossings at this location.
8) Dodder Valley – Old Bawn section – this needs a better landscaping plan to create viewing points and plaques re: heritage – the mills
9) Bolbrook greenway entrance & connector to Tallaght village, Tallaght – Templeogue Cycle Track needs significant revisions to bring it in line with those in Cherry Field, Springfield Road and Rathfarnham village locations.
10) Balrothery Weir & City Watercourse on the North Bank of the Dodder – the riverbank, pathways and heritage here to be included strongly in this route.
TCC say they endeavour to be an active and constructive participant in policies and developments in the County Town, aiming to add a strong community sense onto all plans.
Gerry Stockil, Voluntary Chairmain of TCC, adds,
“It is vital that communities are not just encouraged to formally make their views known in the planning process, but their opinions need to be actively heard and strongly taken into account, shaping the final plans.
“The community voice must been seen and heard and obvious in the final plans – otherwise the credibility of community input into local planning and government will be damaged.
“TCC spent weeks assessing the N81 upgrade project earlier this year.
“Again we were constructive and specific in our detailed feedback – making 84 requests to amend, enhance or delete features along the route. 2 of those requests got a conclusive and positive response, influencing an actual change to the proposed plan.
“This is not an encouraging success rate for any community group who takes valuable time and shows a constructive interest in shaping their own areas. It must be increased.”
TCC’s full submission is available to review on the SDCC consultation portal until it closed on the 18th of August. Any interested individuals or groups who wish to discuss the TCC submission are invited to contact TCC at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone interested in The Dodder & heritage is invited to join TCC for a free guided nature walk on the Whitestown to Balrothery loop which takes in the Whitestown stream and the Dodder for National Heritage Week event this Saturday at 12 noon in Sean Walsh Park, full details on the TCC Facebook page of the Heritage Council’s website.