South City: Residents angry at new homes proposals for community park
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RESIDENTS in Cherry Orchard are trying to block a social housing development being built on their memorial park.
The Stone Soup project was established in the area to take over a waste ground park, zoned for housing that never materialised, in 2008.
The site at Cherry Orchard Lawns is now set to be developed into 72 houses by NABCO, in partnership with Dublin City Council.
Permission for the development was first granted seven years ago and the term was extended in 2013.
Locals Matthew Kelly and Eddie Fitzpatrick spearheaded the community effort behind the repurposing of the park.
With the help of volunteers the group has built a Bridge of Hope on the site to pay tribute to those in the area who have died by suicide.
There is also a grotto on the site which was built from mostly donated materials. Locals are invited to plant trees to remember loved ones and a memorial walk is now taking shape at the site.
“It’s wonderful what we have achieved here,” Mr Kelly said.
Before the development of the park it was a hotspot for anti-social behaviour according to locals.
“The level of anti-social behaviour in the area has dropped dramatically,” Mr Fitzpatrick added.
“Before we did this we had bins being burned out every night, drinking and drug taking and everything that comes with that. Our lives were a misery from Thursday through to Saturday.”
The group has written to Dublin City Council Chief Executive Owen Keegan on the matter.
The site, which is currently owned by DCC, is due to be developed into three-bedroom social housing units.
Local councillor Daithi de Roiste, who has been working with the group, said that
the area did need social housing, but that this site was not suitable.
“We do have a housing crisis but the answer is not to build on every bit of green space available,” he said. “We are all in favour of building houses but it needs to be thought out and planned properly.”
There is a concern that local facilities cannot cope with the extra burden of more residents in the area.
The Fianna Fail councillor will table a motion at the next council meeting asking for the development to be reconsidered.
Developers NABCO have moved to reassure residents that they will work alongside them in maintaining the park.
“The plans will go some way to meeting the housing needs of the more than 2,000 families on the local housing waiting list,” a spokesperson said.
“The plans for the new development include retaining
23pc of the site as public open space, including a linear public park, where it is hoped to incorporate existing community planting.”
Inner City: €95k bill for chewing gum and graffiti blitz
CHEWING gum and graffiti removal in the south of the city will cost the taxpayer €95k this year.
The council will foot a bill of €65k for the removal of chewing gum from the streets, prompting calls for a gum tax to be discussed.
Graffiti will cost another €30k to be cleaned off – so far this year the council has removed 2,587 square metres of spray paint in the area.
Meanwhile, the cost of picking up dog litter will run to some €20k in 2015.
The council is working with gardai to try and come up with a scheme that will encourage people to pick up after their pets when out walking.
“It’s essential to keep the area graffiti-free, particularly in the case of racist or offensive graffiti,” local councillor Daithi Doolan said.
“We need to think outside the box and young people with an interest in graffiti as art need to be facilitated with legal walls.
“It’s amazing what they can do with proper support.
The area south of the Liffey already has some places where it is legal for people to paint such as the Windmill Lane wall and the Tivoli Theatre car park which is painted by NCAD students.
However, the problem of people dumping chewing gum might prove harder to tackle and the Sinn Fein councillor believes that the Government should consider a chewing gum tax.
“It’s not a popular idea but neither was the plastic bag tax and that has worked,” he told the Herald.
“We can’t keep throwing taxpayers’ money into cleaning up other people’s messes.
“It is the same as illegal dumping when somebody throws their gum on the ground.”
Liberties: Ambassadors take to the streets
LIBERTIES residents are back volunteering to show tourists around their unique historic city quarter.
Tony Dunbar, Volunteer with the Liberties Ambassador Programme. Francis Street, Dublin
Dozens of locals will take to the streets over the summer in a project that one ambassador, Tony Dunbar, says “makes the city a little bit friendlier”.
Mr Dunbar is returning as a tour guide for his third year – with several other members of the community also trained up for the scheme which runs in conjunction with Volunteer Ireland.
“You get out of it much more than you put in,” Mr Dunbar told the Herald.
“I love the area and it’s a great way to learn more about it and then pass that on to visitors.
“We can give them background to things that they wouldn’t find in the tour books.
“It makes the city a little bit friendlier.”
The volunteers are on hand to give directions and recommend the best place for a cup of coffee.
Volunteer ambassadors will be in the area from Wednesday through to Saturday each week until the end of August.
Ballsbridge: Tea rooms operator wanted for park cafe
A CAFE will soon open its doors in Herbert Park.
The newly-refurbished tea rooms are awaiting a tenant and Dublin City Council have put out the call for businesses to apply to take over the concession.
The council is inviting submissions and has expressed a preference for locally-produced goods to be served.
The cafe is the second to be opened by the council.
Lord Mayor Christy Burke recently officially opened a new cafe in St Patrick’s Park.
Cherry Orchard: Council set to tackle joy riders
CCTV cameras are to be installed in Cherry Orchard to curb joyriding and violent crime in the area.
Residents have lobbied for cameras in recent months due to a spike in car thefts and high-speed driving.
Dublin City Council has agreed to set up the cameras and will also introduce traffic calming measures to try and slow down drivers in the area.
“There is a real problem with people racing through with stolen cars,” said a source.
Dolphin's Barn: Anti-social behaviour on the rise
THERE has been an increase in anti-social behaviour in St Teresa’s Gardens according to local gardai.
The flat complex in Dolphin’s Barn is one of a number of so-called “hotspots” around the city that have been identified by gardai.
The Dublin 8 complex is monitored by voice activated CCTV.
Ballyfermot: Increase in minor assaults
THERE was an increase in minor assaults in the first three months of 2015 in Ballyfermot – with 10 being recorded. Figures also show there were six incidents of assault causing harm. However, this is on par with the number of incidents dealt with by gardai last year.
Terenure: Return our baskets or else
A VILLAGE shop in Terenure wants the hanging baskets stolen from outside their shop returned – or the thief will face public shaming.
The thief was caught on CCTV on Monday night when the baskets were taken from outside Noonan’s Checkout.
The owner has set a Friday 3pm deadline for the man to get in touch or his picture will be published on social media.