Our Submission to the 2017-2023 County Development Plan

On Friday, 29 April 2016, after an intense process of engaging with the draft development plan for Fingal County Council, the Skerries Community Association made a formal submission.

Geoff McEvoy, our chair, wrote in his covering letter:

The Skerries Community Association Ltd. is an umbrella group of eleven different committees, made up of several hundred volunteers, devoted to making the quality of life in Skerries even better. The SCA is a not for profit structured as Company Limited by Guarantee. We are governed by a board of fifteen directors. Our vision statement and articles of association are viewable on our website: skerriesca.com Our submission has been informed by discussions at board level and consultation with our member committees, some of whom will also be making their own submissions.

The full text of our submission is available here:

CVQ-3359 – Development Plan SCA Observations – 29-04-2016 11-45am

Fingal CC Development Plan and SCA

Skerries Community Association is currently drafting a submission for the Fingal County Council Development Plan for 2017-2023.

2023! The kids who are starting school this September will be in 6th Class then, and those who are preparing for Junior Cert right now will be in their early twenties, and even the Leaving Cert will just be a fading memory….

So this is long-term, big-scale thinking which requires reflecting where we want Skerries to be in 2023. The Board of Directors of the Skerries Community Association is basing its work on a submission on the following:

Vision for Skerries – What do we think is “great” about our town / could be done to make it even better?
  • sustainable development, in keeping with the current character of the town
  • When it comes to economic development, a technology park may be a good fit; industrial areas would not be
  • the needs of commuters need to be borne in mind
  • being able to move around town without having to use the car
  • age friendly – for all ages
  • more energy-efficiency, use of renewable energies (wind, water, willows)
  • vibrant community
  • cultural, sporting amenities
  • amenities for visitors (hotel / hotels e.g.)
Housing
  • Sustainable development, good-quality housing with amenities nearby.
  • Options for all – including apartments / smaller units close to shops and other infrastructure for those with impaired mobility.
As Skerries grows we need to think how that will look. Do we want higher density (three or four stories) housing or alternatively see the “footprint” of the town spread out much further than currently?

Areas for possible future housing development should be identified on the development plan.

 

Transport
All residential areas of Skerries should be accessible in a safe, sustainable way to the town centre and the public transport network: Foot paths, cycle paths, safe roads.
This should apply to both existing and new areas.
Cycle paths and foot paths – there are many instances where paths stop all of a sudden. These need to be connected / finished.

Over to you!

We (the SCA) are encouraging all Skerries residents to have a look at the development plan consultation process. Fingal County Council have put all relevant information here. The public consultation drop-in sessions are over, but all documents are available online, and we are including a few here as well.

If you have any comments that you think we should include in our submission, please mail them to secretary@skerriesca.com as soon as possible.

Be part of the Fingal Development Plan Consultation!

We can all be part of the consultation process for the next Fingal Development Plan. Here is how!

See below for the on-line consultation process, and (especially useful) drop-in consultation sessions where Council staff will be available to discuss the current draft.

There are sessions in Balbriggan Library (15 March), Rush Library (4 April) and many other locations.

(from the Fingal County Council website:)

fingal consultation 2016

Public Information drop-in Sessions for the Development Plan process take place as follows.  Please feel free to drop in and go through the Development Plan maps and discuss the plan with Council staff.

 

Location Date Time
County Hall, Main Street, Swords, Co Dublin Tuesday 8th March 4pm – 8pm
Blanchardstown Library, Civic Centre, Blanchardstown Centre,  Dublin 15 Thursday 10th March 4pm – 8pm
Balbriggan Library, George’s Square, Balbriggan. CoDublin Tuesday 15th  March 4pm – 8pm
Rush Library, Chapel Road, Rush, Co. Dublin Monday 4th April 4pm – 8pm
Baldoyle Library, Strand Road, Baldoyle, Dublin 13 Thursday 7th April 4pm – 8pm
County Hall, Main Street, Swords, Co Dublin Thursday 14th April 4pm – 8pm
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Northwood Park, Santry, Dublin9 Tuesday 19th April 4pm – 8pm

 

Draft Plan (Stage 2 Now Open)

Fingal County Council published the Draft County Development Plan 2017 -2023 on February 19th 2016 – this marks the start of Phase 2 of the Development Plan preparation process.

The Chief Executives Draft Development Plan was presented to the elected Members of the Council in December 2015 for their consideration.  At a series of meetings in January and February of 2016, motions submitted by the Members were considered and the Draft Development Plan is now being published for members of the public to make submissions / observations. The public consultation period runs from February 19th to April 29th 2016.

The Fingal Draft Development Plan sets out the strategic spatial vision and future direction for the county over a six year period from 2017 to 2023. In developing this we will build on our previous successes and our strategic advantages as a county. The Fingal Draft Development Plan 2017 – 2023 has been prepared for public consultation and we encourage all citizens, communities, businesses and interested parties to actively participate in helping to shape the future of your County.

The Chief Executive will prepare a report on the submissions received during the public consultation phase and this will be considered by the elected Members at meetings in September and October 2016. We look forward to hearing from you and exploring your views on how the County should develop economically, socially and culturally over the years ahead.

Click here to view the plan or to make a submission:

http://www.fingal.ie/dpdev/draftplanstage2nowopen/

 

Skerries Volunteer Showcase Event 2016

Tuesday the 23rdFebruary, 2016, Skerries Harps GFC Clubhouse, Skerries
7 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

SCA VolunteersThe organisers, Fingal County Council;s Community Development Office, Fingal Volunteer Centre & local partners Mourne Community Centre and ourselves, the Skerries Community Association, hope that some 30 groups will be present on the day.

The groups will set up from 5.30 and have one hour for networking until the event is opened to the public with the official Launch by Mayor of Fingal – Cllr. David O’Connor at 7 p.m.

SCA Logo 2016

Apart from Skerries groups looking to recruit volunteers, there will be seven Countywide / National Organisations as well, such as Foróige, Jigsaw, and Bereaved by Suicide.

All those who think they might have anything between a couple of hours once-off and a few hours every day to spare should come to the Harps Clubhouse on that 23 Feb, from 7 to 8.30!

Any Skerries organisation who are looking for volunteers and are not yet on board should contact Valerie McAllorum-Byrne, Community Officer, Fingal County Council, ASAP. Her contact details are

(01)8905106

Report of Skerries Community Liaison Committee Meeting October 2015

Tuesday 6th October 2015 – 3:00pm at Prosper Fingal, Skerries

 

Cllr. David O’Connor

Cllr. Grainne Maguire

Cllr. JP Browne

Cllr. Tony Murphy

 

Jane Landy – Skerries Community Assoc.

Geoff McEvoy – Skerries Community Assoc.

Paula Marry – Chamber of Commerce

Ann Doyle – Skerries Tidy Towns

 

Ann Murphy – FCC

John Hartnett – FCC

Aileen O’Connor – FCC

 The meeting was chaired by Councillor David O’Connor

  1. Minutes of meeting held on 23rd June were agreed

Issues Arising

  • O’Connor updated the Committee regarding the proposed Skerries to Loughshinny walkway.
  • Browne informed the Committee that the 2016 Triathlon may try to tie in with the 2016 Skerries Water Festival. He also commented on the need for improved communication between parties regarding the organisation of future events.
  • Geoff McEvoy raised the issue regarding the request for winter storage for boats belonging to Skerries Rowing Club.
  1. Blue Flag update

Ann Murphy outlined the process involved in attaining the Blue Flag and also informed the Committee the reason Skerries lost its Blue Flag was due to 2 individual incidents in 2014.

The Committee queried how and when Skerries could expect to get back the Blue Flag in the future. They also wondered if Milverton Quarry would affect the water quality when it was operational.

Jane Landy asked if it would be possible to contact George Sharpson with a view to recommencing local bathing water quality testing again.

  1. Skerries Town Park update

Aileen O’Connor gave an update on the work that had already been completed and the work that was yet to be done.

Jane Landy requested a written update so it could be put on their Facebook page.

  1. Skerries Town Plan (to include Traffic & Road Safety)

Geoff McEvoy suggested a coordinated approach between Fingal County Council and the Committee is taken in relation to issues of traffic and road safety in Skerries. Instead of individual issues being addressed it might be better to take a holistic approach to the issue.

It was agreed that Fingal County Council would provide the Committee with some maps of the town on which they can hi-light the areas and issues that they feel could be addressed using this approach.

  1. Tidy Towns 2015 – Review

Ann Doyle gave a brief review of the recent Tidy Towns results. She stated that the Tidy Towns Committee were very pleased with the results considering the large number of entrants. She said that for 2016 Skerries needed to come up with a project – maybe something in the area of waste minimisation. She also passed on her thanks to Fingal County Council for all of their assistance.

The Committee passed on their congratulations to Ann and the Tidy Towns Committee.

  1. Strand Street Seating

Fingal County Council said that they would give consideration to a proposal to put a small number of additional seats on Strand Street. The Committee undertook to check with businesses and residents regarding the possible location of these seats prior to presenting Fingal County Council with a number of potential sites.

  1. Provision of additional disabled parking bay on Harbour Road

Ann Murphy said that the Fingal County Council Traffic Engineer would carry out an assessment of the area but that the addition of a disabled parking bay would be done in consultation with the Gardaí.

Councillor O’Connor made an enquiry regarding the uptake and use of disabled parking bays in the town. The Committee said that they would look into this.

  1. Irish language usage (signage, etc.)

Ann Murphy reported that Fingal County Council are compliant with the legislation under the Official Languages Act. She informed the Committee that all Councils have until 2026 to be fully compliant under the legislation.

During the discussion Cllr. Tony Murphy noted that Malahide will pilot a project to standardise shop fronts and signage.

Cllr. O’Connor proposed and it was agreed that this issue would be discussed at the next Skerries Community Liaison Committee meeting as a Headed Item.

  1. South Strand Cycling

Ann Murphy reported that the current signage was the most appropriate for the area and that there was no need for additional signs or to change what was there.

Jane Landy thought that the current signs were still confusing to the public and that something should be done to make them clearer.

Ann Murphy suggested that a sufficient period of time should be allowed for the public to get used to the new arrangement on South Strand. She also suggested that the Committee could reinforce this using their newsletter and also social media.

  1. AOB
  • Jane Landy informed the Committee that Kay Coleman had recently won the Jim Quigley Award for Volunteer of the Year award. The Committee wished to pass on their congratulations to Kay on the award.

The above is the report as circulated by John Hartnett, Fingal County Council, on 12 October 2015. 

SCA Submission for the next County Development Plan

Development Plan Consultation April 2015 (1)The next County Development Plan will cover the years 2017 to 2023. That’s a good bit into the future, but Fingal County Council have started work on it. You can read all about the process on the FCC website.

In the first round of consultations, Skerries Community Association was part of a very lively consultative meeting hosted by Fingal County Council in Balbriggan in April.

Issues raised there, and at our Board of Directors meetings, were summarised by our vice chairperson, Geoff McEvoy, and sent in the format of a submission to Fingal County Council in May.

A link to a PDF with the full submission is below; here are the main points:

Cultural Heritage

  • need for a permanent, purpose built performance space in Skerries
  • renovation and renewal of Skerries Library

Infrastructure and Movement

  • active travel (walking and cycling) must continue to be a priority focus
  • provision of cycle lanes and accessible footpaths
  • consideration of local public transport options to further  encourage mobility and prevent traffic congestion in the town centre.
  • overall, strategic approach to traffic management in Skerries
  • completion of promised and planned cycle path between Skerries and Balbriggan

Economic Development

  • Tourism is of increasing importance for the economy of the town – need for more beds to accommodate overnight visitors to festivals etc.
  • Infrastructural support to facilitate a joined up approach to the various water sports and activities that make use of our coastline.
  • Explore options for the Martello Tower, a potential tourism resource that is not being utilised.

Natural Heritage

  • Continued access to clean water and beaches is crucial for Skerries. The recent granting of the waste facility licence at Milverton Quarry has raised concerns in this regard.
  • Effective, sustainable water treatment – address inability of the water treatment plant in Kelly’s Bay to cope with increased water (heavy rains) and water quality in Rush (due to lack of proper water treatment there)
  • Long-term plans needed to address flooding at the Mill Stream.

Settlement Strategy, Placemaking and Communities

  • Facilitate the swift return to use of vacant properties.
  • Support independent living for older people
  • Provide youth facilities
  • Provide open spaces
  • High-quality broadband for all of Skerries and environs.
  • Free public WiFi throughout the town centre is desirable
  • Maintain the green belt between Skerries and the neighbouring towns of Balbriggan, Lusk and Loughshinny.
  • While additional development for housing is probably necessary, all planning and development must be sensitive, sustainable and community focused in order to avoid the mistakes of the past.

Skerries Community Association will continue to engage with Fingal County Council so that the next Development Plan will provide a framework for the points we raised in this submission.

Click on this link to see the full submission:
SCA Development Plan Submission May 2015

Tidy Towns ask: Join Cleaner Communities Competition!

Skerries Tidy Towns Committee write:

Entry forms are now available for the Fingal County Council “Cleaner Communities Competition”.
They can be downloaded from the Fingal County Council site, click on the link below or phone 018905453.
There are entries accepted from both Commercial and Residential.
Commercial includes: presentation of premises, Waste Management Initiatives, Energy Management Initiatives and Biodiversity.
Residential includes: best presented gardens, thatched cottages, estates, apartments, community centres.
There is also an award for Green Business: special effort to be environmentally friendly.
This is our own county competition and we as a town have lots to offer so please download a form and enter your residential area, house or business.

http://www.fingalcoco.ie/…/c…/community-clean-up-and-awards/

Bike Repair and Maintenance Course organised by two of our committees

Fix that bike! Want to learn how to fix punctures and brakes and lots of other practical stuff to keep your bike working safely and efficiently?
Two of the committees of Skerries Community Association have come together to bring you this course:
Sign up now for a free bike repair and maintenance course coming to Skerries in May. The course is open to Skerries residents over sixteen years old and is being organised by Skerries Cycling Initiative and Skerries Tidy Towns.
The course involves six sessions and will take place on Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings (9am-12 noon) over a three week period starting on Tuesday 5 May and ending on  Wed 20 May.
Any questions? Contact Michael, Skerries Cycling Initiative, via  cycling@skerriesca.com
Sponsored by Fingal County Council under the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Grants scheme
bike in front of harbour

Reports from Skerries Community Liaison Committee March 2015

REPORTS FROM SKERRIES COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE

AttendanceCllr David O’ConnorCllr. J.P. BrowneCllr. Grainne Maguire

Jane Landy – SCA Rep.
Pat Reen – Prosper Fingal

Ann Doyle – Skerries Tidy Tows

Kay Coleman – Skerries Chamber
Guests

Ray Ryan – S.C.I

Apologies:

Cllr. Malachy Quinn, Geoff McEvoy S.C.A.,

Martin Sweeney – FCCAileen O’Connor – FCCBernard Kenealy – FCCAnn Murphy – FCC

John Hartnett – FCC

Meeting held on March 24th 2015
Town Park, Skerries – Update

Aileen O’Connor reported that the Council put the plans for the Town Park on public consultation requesting submissions from the people of Skerries.

As part of the public consultation, 53 submissions were received. All submissions will be considered in the preparation of a report that will be presented to the elected members at the Balbriggan / Swords Area Committee Services B meeting in April.

Skerries to Balbriggan Cycle Route – Update

Martin Sweeney provided an update to the proposed Skerries to Balbriggan Cycle route. There has been a lot of work carried out to date and lands have been acquired for the project. Although a portion of grant funding has been awarded by the N.T.A. the overall delivery of the project is reliant on further funding being provided. This funding has not yet been identified.

Fingal County Council will look to seek approval from the elected members to commence the Part 8 of the Planning Act & Regulations in relation to the scheme which will include the preparation of detailed drawings and costings and a public consultation period.

Signage on Promenade on South Strand

The Council will be placing signage on the promenade on South Strand restricting cycling on this pathway over the coming weeks. The signage is being installed as a direct result of cyclists who are not having regard for other users, especially elderly and mobility impaired users.

The signage will be placed at either end and at all entrance points on the track. When the signage is being installed, a press release will issue to local Councillors, Skerries News, Skerries Cycling, SCA etc. It will be emphasised that these measures are being taken to address inconsiderate adult cycling on the pathway, and it is not the intention to restrict or prohibit young children from cycling on the pathway.

Sit Down on Strand Street

The Committee members again discussed this difficult issue and have recommended that one of the benches be repositioned on Strand Street. This recommendation is being evaluated by the Operations Department and hopefully work can take place in the coming weeks.

Special Works Programme 2015

The elected members recently adopted the special works programme for the Operations Department. The following works relate to the town of Skerries;

Restoration  Improvement  2015 – Road Reconstruction

Thomas Hand Street, Skerries          300M             €75,000

Restoration Maintenance  2015

Convent Lane, Skerries (MO)            200M             €28,000

Millars Lane, Skerries (MO)               200M             €20,000

SPECIAL  WORKS  2015   

Footpaths and Drainage works –    Millverton, Thomas Hand St, Strand St & Millars Lane       €44,000

Traffic Management Schemes

Skerries Dublin Road between roundabout and

Townparks Distributor Road Junction        €23,000

Parks and Open Spaces

Skerries      Cormorant Bed                       €8,000

Kelly’s Bay path                                       €5,000

St Patrick’s Day Parade

The Committee wished to thank Kay Coleman for her help and involvement in this year’s parade.

End 28th March 2015

fingal logo

The Liaison Committee is an informal meeting of community groups (including the SCA) and Fingal County Council officials. The committee meets four times per year and any resident of Skerries can request for a topic to be discussed.

The SCA representatives on the committee are Jane Landy (jane.landy@skerriesca.com) and Geoff McEvoy (geoff.mcevoy@skerriesca.com)

 

Submissions by our Committees re Town Park

There is considerable interest in Skerries in the redevelopment of Skerries Town Park, and rightly so. In addition to the direct submission made by Skerries Community Association to Fingal County Council, a number of our committees also made their thoughts known. Some of them can be accessed here on our website – see rough summaries and links below.

Active Transport

Skerries Cycling Initiative made a comprehensive submission to Fingal County Council regarding the Town Park redevelopment. In summary:

Skerries Cycling Initiative (SCI) welcomes this plan in principle. The proposed new entrances and paths have the potential to create better access to amenities in the park and more importantly, to provide links between the North, South, East and West of the town.
The Town Park serves many purposes and its redevelopment gives Skerries a unique opportunity. Our comments in this submission are directed towards improving the Town Park as an active travel hub as well as improving access to the many amenities -existing and planned- in the Town Park. As such our focus is on extending the capacity of the Park to provide safe routes of travel for persons walking and cycling, using wheelchairs and other mobility vehicles including cycles adapted for persons with disabilities. We want the end result of the redevelopment to be the creation of an inclusive, age friendly and attractive space. We wish also to point out that increasing numbers of battery powered mobility vehicles are in use around the town and it is important that the users of these vehicles are catered for through well designed pathways in the Park.

Click on the following link to open the full submission, which includes maps and tables, in a new window: SCI Submission Townpark Redevelopment

 

Community Food Garden

Adding a community food garden was at the heart of the submission made by our Sustainable Skerries Committee. They write:

Sustainable Skerries wishes to submit a proposal to Fingal County Council with respect to the Skerries Town Park development to allow an area for a Community garden in the plans.

Site specification: Good drainage Easy to secure 600 -1000m2

We believe that the ideal location for the community garden would be beside the Bowling green, where the shipping container is at present. This area has easy access for young and old people alike, and is somewhat secure.

You can read their submission in full here: Community Food Garden Proposal to FCC Sustainable Skerries

Skatepark

The Skerries Skatepark Committee, also part of the SCA, wrote:

As part of the new Town Park Development Plan we would like to see a skatepark included in the overall plans. It has been the vision of the committee to construct a skatepark that is sensitive to its surrounding from a visual and environmental viewpoint. … Ideally 700 m2 area would suit a skatepark, this give enough room for mixed ages and abilities to participate at the same time. As a comparison a football pitch is around 7,000 m2.

See the full submission here: Town Park Plan – skatepark

Skerries Tidy Towns  also had direct input to Fingal County Council in this regard; we will add their submissions as they become available to us.