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Saturday 10 December 2016

New action plan aims to move away from 'old Ballymun' legacy

Ballymun’s shopping centre will close in the coming months
Ballymun’s shopping centre will close in the coming months

Ballymun is set to be re- imagined under a new plan that aims to pick up where the regeneration of the area left off.

The company responsible for turning the suburb into "Destination Ballymun" did not meet all of its objectives, Dublin City Council (DCC) has acknowledged in a new consultation document.

This was despite the "signif- icant work" done by Ballymun Regeneration Ltd, the council said, including the development of the civic centre and community buildings.

Stalled

Among the key elements of Ballymun's regeneration that were stalled was the redevelopment of the shopping centre, the development of lands along the M50 and the upgrading of infrastructure, including roads.

The landmark tower blocks have all but gone, with the last one being dismantled at present.

The recession stalled some key aspects of the plan, leading to a continued reliance on "social supports" in the area - a higher reliance than in other parts of the city.

Vacant commercial properties in the town centre have also had a negative impact on the town's image, "providing a reminder of the old Ballymun", the consultation document adds.

The M50 land was designated for private development which never materialised.

Meanwhile, Ballymun's old shopping centre is due to close in the coming months, leaving a marked shortage of retail options in the area.

DCC is seeking submissions from residents on what they would like to see included in a new vision for the area.

The Local Area Plan (LAP) will address employment and how best to attract economic activity that will lead to investment and local jobs.

It will also explore how best to ensure a "diversity of tenure" or a mix of residents that will include private homeowners, renters, social housing tenants and students.

The plan will also aim to address social issues such as crime and anti-social behaviour, and will hope to place a greater emphasis on education.

The document will be on public view in the civic centre in Ballymun and in Dublin City Council's building on Wood Quay.

Meetings

Submissions can be made on the plans until December 3, and a number of public information meetings will be held before then.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Noeleen O'Reilly said she will be pushing for a mix of commercial and residential developments in Ballymun.

She said she is keen to ensure that "any mistakes made during the regeneration are learned from and rectified".

Ballymun Regeneration Ltd was set up in 1997 and a master- plan for the area was drawn up the following year.

After the company was wound down, DCC assumed its roles.

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