Sunday, 16 June 2019

Submission by TRA to the NTA re BusConnects

The following is the text of the submission made by the Terenure Residents' Association to the National Transport Authority regarding the BusConnects proposals on 25 April 2019:

Submission in relation to BusConnects Core Bus Corridor Proposals
Corridors 10 and 12

Terenure Residents Association represents residents living in the area of Terenure, south, east and southwest of Terenure Cross.  This represents about 800 households.  It includes Templeogue Road, Rathfarnham Road, Terenure Road East.  We are established for over 30 years.

The proposals for Bus Corridors 10 and 12 seriously affect our members on Rathfarnham Road, Terenure Road East and Templeogue Road.  All of our members would be affected by the consequent disruption to general motor traffic caused by proposed diversions.  This submission will relate to the plan as it affects the area and households we represent.  We are aware that there are some ad hoc groups which will also be making submissions for areas covered by these bus corridors.

General Reaction to Plan
            TRA held a general meeting on Tuesday 16th April.  While there is agreement that there is a pressing need to improve public transport commuting times the BusConnects proposals, as they affect the area we represent, are TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE to the members of our Association.  The damage that would be caused to the local environment and ambience of Terenure is completely out of proportion to the benefits (if any) gained.

Loss of Amenity
            There is strong opposition to the concept of four lane highways through well-established residential areas.  Apart from the loss of amenity this would cause, it would destroy the village life that the community thrives on.  Terenure is a community, not a corridor.  There would be serious loss in value of properties that border on the highways.   Loss of gardens on Rathfarnham Road and Terenure Road East is of significant concern. Nobody agrees that any of this is worthwhile and the likely cost of reinstating old cut stone walls and cast iron railings will make the project horrendously expensive for very little benefit   Many of the properties involved are protected structures.  Another potential cost is compensation paid to residents who will be assessing the loss in the value of their properties.  On Rathfarnham Road many houses are at a level well above the road and shortening of gardens will leave unacceptable gradients on driveways.  Shortening of driveways will also cause motorists to have to back out of their driveways on to a very busy road – dangerous (major health and safety risk to the public)
It should be noted that much of Terenure is zoned Z2 – Residential Neighbourhood Designated Area
The proposed plan calls for the removal of a very large number of mature trees.  This is unacceptable.  Loss of parking spaces at the Terenure end of Rathfarnham Road will adversely affect the village.
There is a general feeling that there is very little delay at present to traffic passing through the area except for a few hours a day at peak times so the concept of having the full proposal in force for 24 hours a day is ridiculous and unnecessary.

Diversionary Routes
Implementing the plan would result in no general traffic entering Terenure from Templeogue Road or going towards the city via Rathmines Road or Kimmage Road Lower.  That means that two out of three direct routes for city bound traffic from a large catchment area have gone and traffic will be diverted on to unsuitable and sometimes already overcrowded, residential side roads.  Examples are Bushy Park Road, Orwell Park  and Castlewood Avenue.  The BusConnects Plan assumes that commuters will transfer to travelling by bus and that there will be much reduced numbers of cars.  Many commuters do not work in the city or along the bus corridors and will continue to use their cars.  There are many other reasons why people have to use their cars.  Even now there is considerable road congestion in the Dundrum and Churchtown areas in spite of the large numbers who use the excellent Luas service.  If any of the scheme is to be implemented, the impact on the roads in the diversionary routes will need to be comprehensively assessed.

CBC 10 Templeogue Road.
            The proposal for general traffic on Templeogue Road is one way outbound only from Terenure Place to Fergus Road.   Local traffic only would be allowed down Templeogue Road beyond Springfield Avenue.  General inbound traffic would be diverted via Springfield Avenue and Dodder View Road.
1.     Difficulty in preventing non local traffic beyond Springfield Avenue and consequent rat running in Rathdown.  There are so many genuine designations of local traffic that it would be impossible to enforce the restriction, e,g, patrons of Bushy Park and, school runs  and traffic to and from Fortfield Road.
2.     It will be impossible to implement the proposal because of the enormous problem that the diverted traffic will cause, particularly at Rathfarnham Bridge and on Rathfarnham Road.  This would be totally unacceptable because of the congestion caused and impact on residents.

CBC 12 Rathfarnham Road and Terenure Road East
            The proposed land take of gardens on these roads is so drastic that it should not be implemented as proposed.  A very large part of the land take is for cycle lanes.  Provision of these does not justify the damage to ambience and environment that would be caused.  It would be much more satisfactory to divert cycles on to quiet parallel roads where feasible, or to reduce speed limits to 30km/hr. and allow cycles to use the bus lanes

Suggested Immediate Improvements.
As mentioned earlier, TRA agrees that there is a pressing need to improve public transport commuting tines in Terenure.  Detailed below are suggested changes that should be implemented, with immediate effect, to improve these times.
1.     Introduce bus priority at traffic lights with minimum adjustment to present arrangements for bus lanes etc.  Ensure that bus priority only operates when buses are present
2.     Reduce speed limits in appropriate areas to allow cycles to use bus lanes in relative safety.
3.     Vastly improve the frequency of buses at peak times.  We get many complaints of all inbound buses being full when they reach Terenure at peak times in the morning.  This is causing potential users to travel by car.  It has been noted that the frequency of buses to Terenure proposed in the Jarret Walker report is actually less than that it is at present.  The credibility of the BusConnects plan is thus very much diminished in this area.
4.     Reduce dwell time for buses at stops by the following means.
a.      All fares to be cashless and generally low to attract bus users.  Additional subsidies may be required.
b.     Introduce a flat fare system to avoid having to give Leap cards to the driver.
c.      Introduce a system to swipe bank debit cards.
d.     Compared with other cities the response time of the swipe pads on Dublin buses seems very slow and sometimes uncertain. This is a cause of long dwell times.  The system needs to be optimized.
e.      Reduce congestion and consequent delay around the door of the bus while people swipe cards by introducing extra pad locations. 
f.      Consider swipe pads at bus stops
g.     Make it mandatory to exit the bus through the centre door.  At present most people exit through the front door, causing delays, because they don’t know whether the centre door will be opened.
h.     Introduce additional inspection to ensure cards are swiped as the driver will lose an element of supervision.

TRA strongly recommends that the above suggestions are trialed.  If the results are good, it may not be necessary to do anything else to accommodate buses.

In the longer term the TRA AGM agreed that the only satisfactory way to achieve reasonable and predictable commuting times is to work towards an underground Metro solution.  With the cancellation of the Charlemont Bridge to Sandyford proposal to convert the Luas to Metro an opportunity exists to bring such a system to the Terenure area.  Such a solution would be much more satisfactory than the BusConnects plan and would receive full support from TRA members.

                                                                                    25th April 2019

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Join Terenure Men's Shed for a Social Evening

You are invited to come along for free dinner and entertainment to find out more about the Terenure Men's Shed.

"Men's Sheds" are a social inclusion movement designed to encourage informal discussion amongst men. They do this by facilitating meetings and group activities, often literally in a shed! Many Men's Sheds double up as workshops where members can gather and/or work on meaningful projects at their own pace in informal, "women-free" surroundings.

Terenure Men's Shed is situated behind the Evergreen Club in the car park on Terenure Road North, and their members are holding a social/open evening at:

Terenure Sports Club (formerly CYM Sports Club)
Terenure Road North

Thursday 30th May at 7.30pm

Full bar available!
Supported by Dublin City Council.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Experience Mindfulness in Terenure

May Mindfulness at Mayfield Terenure

Saturday 18 May at 2pm
Mayfield Deli and Eatery 
(7-11Terenure Road North )

Hosted by Aideen O'Neill of Growyourmind Mindfulness

The Power of Pausing

Experience the power of pausing during this 2hr mindfulness meditation workshop. Learn simple mindfulness meditation practices that can effectively help regulate stress and our quality of life. Suitable for all levels.

While on retreat recently in Plum Village I noticed how to it can be difficult accessing the present moment and yet how powerful it is when we pause and step out of the constant doing. This workshop will help to bring moment to moment awareness to each moment with an attitude of compassion towards our experience.

Cost 30 euro 
Email Aideen on to book

More info here

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Local Council Elections 2019

The Local Elections 2019 will be held on Friday 24th of May 2019 in conjunction with the European Elections and Divorce referendum. The hours of polling are 7.00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m. Responsibility for the Local Elections for the City of Dublin rests with Dublin City Council.
A re-shuffling of the borders since 2014 means Terenure is now part of the Kimmage - Rathmines electoral area which will have a total of 6 council seats. The voting wards that cover our electoral area, and the immediate neighbouring ones, are shown in the map below. Our Association covers all Terenure D, part of Terenure C, part of the bafflingly named Rathfarnham, and a small part of Rathmines West E. The polling stations for each ward are detailed below the map.

Polling Stations

  • Terenure D - St. Joseph's Boys National School, Terenure Road East
  • Rathfarnham - Zion Parish Hall, Bushy Park Road, Rathgar
  • Rathmines West E - Rathgar National School, Rathgar Avenue, Rathgar

List of Candidates

The final list of declared candidates for Kimmage - Rathmines is (in alphabetical order):
Those candidates marked * are sitting councillors, Patrick Costello, Anne Feeney, Mary Freehill and Ruari McGinley in Terenure's "old" area (Rathgar - Rathmines), Pat Dunne, Ray McHugh and Michael Mullooly in the former Crumlin - Kimmage area.

Candidate names link to either their own or party websites or facebook pages where found.
If candidates wish us to amend these links, please contact us.

For further information about candidates, most have also given answers to specific policy questions on the Dublin Inquirer website.

This information also appears on our website

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Proposed Development at Bill Sheehan Motors Site: TRA Appeal to An Bord Pleanála

The following is a copy of the observation sent by the Association to An Bord Pleanála:

            Dublin 6w,
The Secretary
An Bord Pleanála,
64 Marlborough St.
Dublin 1.                                                                                            

                                                                                                            10th April 2019

Observation in relation to Appeal No. 29S/303996  -  Dublin City  Planning Application No. 4702/18, 1-13 Templeogue Road, 2-6 Terenure Road West. Dublin 6w
Demolition of Existing Buildings  and Construction of 55 Unit Apartment Block

Dear Sir/Madam,

            This proposal is for the demolition of existing buildings at the above location and the construction of a six storey block containing 40 one bedroomed and fifteen two bedroomed apartments.  It would also contain three shops, a café and 37 underground car parking spaces.  The developers have appealed against Dublin City Council’s decision to refuse permission
Terenure Residents Association represents about 750 households in the area south, east and southwest of Terenure Cross, including those in the vicinity of the above site.  We wish to submit an observation on the developers’ appeal.  The required fee of €50 is enclosed.

We were astounded that the decision of the City Council has been appealed considering that it so comprehensively refused permission for the development.  The proposal had generated an enormous amount of concern among Terenure residents which is evidenced by the 180 letters of objection that were sent to the City Council and an attendance of over 150 at a public meeting.  On the understanding that An Bord Pleanála will have sight of these letters and because of the €50 fee required, it would not be logical to expect the same volume of observations on the appeal. 

We note that the developer has submitted a revised design as an alternative which reduces the building by one storey.  This would be a major change which we feel should have been the subject of a new application.  We query the validity of this procedure unless An Bord Pleanála requests a revision.  Apart from the height reduction, the alternative design does nothing to reduce the negative impact the building would have on the character of the area. 

Our comments on the developer’s appeal are as follows

Visually Intrusive and Overbearing
The design of the building is very much a block which is slab like in appearance. That applies to the five storey version as much as the six storey one.  Its design and materials are not in any way compatible with the neighbouring buildings.  The appeal has not in any way addressed the criticism of the position of the building on the site, flush with the pavement.  This is very much forward of the building line of Templeogue Road and will present a very unfavourable looking “gateway” to Terenure.  It will have a domineering effect on the road and surrounding properties.  The appellant disagrees with the City Council’s designation of the development as “infill”.  We would support the Council’s view on this as the site is effectively a vacant one at the end of a road with two storey houses.  The appellant claims that the street is devoid of character and, by implication, that there is no need for a sympathetic building.   This assumption completely ignores the red brick buildings on Terenure Place and across the road on Terenure Road West.  A building or buildings in harmony with these set back from the road, would be much more acceptable.  The statements in the appeal about the present use of the site are nonsense.  It has, for a long time been an “opportunity” site, in use on a temporary basis as a car sales area.  This site is very much part of the Village of Terenure.  It is in a very prominent location at one end of the junction complex of five main roads around which the village has developed.  This is very much an opportunity site, and one which’ because of its location, should be treated in a way that will produce an iconic landmark development that will enhance the fabric of Terenure Village and become a focal point.  We submit that this proposal does not, in any way, fulfil this requirement and would disagree with the appellant’s claim that it does.   In fact, it would have the opposite impact.

            Height of Building
The proposed building is 21 metres high or 18m. if they go for the alternative plan.  The Dublin City Development Plan allows a maximum height of 16 metres.  The appellant makes use of  the December 2018 document “Guidelines on Urban Development and Building Height” which does take  precedence over Development Plans,  However, we submit that this location is a totally inappropriate place to invoke the new guidelines,   It is really a suburban centre rather that an urban one.  Paragraphs. 2.7 and 2.8 of the above document state that the Planning Authority must determine if increased building height is an appropriate typology, or not, in a particular setting, and that environmental sensitivities of the receiving environment must be considered.  No building in the immediate vicinity is more than two storeys and most of these are of redbrick, historical design.   The site is too small and constrained by the surrounding environment to be considered suitable for this type of development as described in Section 2.11.  For these reasons we agree with City Council’s decision on this one.  It is an area which is never going to develop into a higher rise location with any more similar tall buildings, so the proposed building, at either height, if allowed, will stand out, as the proverbial sore thumb, for ever.   It is obvious that the developers originally intended the five storey version of the building but altered their plans at the last minute to take advantage of the new guidelines.  Surely it is unreasonable to apply these guidelines in such a sensitive area and before the City Council has issued any local interpretation of them

Inadequate Transition in Scale
We disagree with the appellant’s claim that “the building will successfully integrate with the surrounding environment”.   Overlooking of houses on the south east side of Templeogue Road has not been dealt with and the domineering impact of the development on No, 15 Templeogue Road. is not in any way mitigated with the 5 storey alternative.  No mention is made of impact on Olney Crescent.  There is still an abrupt transition in scale when viewed north-eastward from Templeogue Road, both by virtue of the increase from 2 to 5 or six storeys and the position on site of the building flush with the pavement… The photographic montage view position on Templeogue Road in the original submission is so far away that it does not in any way show the impact of the proposed building on Terenure Place.

Other Points – Car Parking
No attempt has been made in the appeal to come to terms with City council’s views on the inadequate provision for car parking.  We are very concerned about cars owned by apartment residents which are not allocated one of the 37 parking places provided.  This applies even in the context of the reduced height building.  Most of the surrounding residential roads have metered parking and many houses have no off street parking.  There is almost no space available for overspill from the proposed development. 

There is no provision for a pull in area for the proposed shops.  This would need to be somewhat off street or with a turn back possibility if the Busconnects plan is implemented as presently proposed.
            The proposal calls for the destruction of the last remaining section of the circle of houses which date from 1801 and gave Terenure its old name of Roundtown.  A similar situation arose when Aldi was building a supermarket on the old tramway depot nearby.  They acceded to a request to preserve the outline and materials of the old building, While we appreciate that the round house is not a listed building it should be preserved as part of the heritage of Terenure.   The City Council planner’s report refers to this.

Proposed use of Building
Terenure is an area where there are many big old houses.  A lot of these have only one or two elderly people living in them.  There is a major requirement for suitable “step down” accommodation to which these people could move without having to leave the area.  Also, Terenure is very much a family-oriented area with plenty of schools etc.  The proposed mix of accommodation will not cater for either of these needs as it would be directed at single working people.  While there is an undoubted need for such accommodation, we submit that a more settled population would make a much better contribution to community life in Terenure.

While as noted above, there is unlikely to be a similar building proposed for Terenure Village, permission for the above proposal would set a very bad precedent and encourage unsuitable developments in the immediate area.

Because of its size, height and general incompatibility with the heritage ambience of Terenure, we request that the proposal be refused planning permission.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Dowling,   Committee Member in charge of Planning