Article from the Mar. 2005 issue of the Socialist
newspaper of the Socialist Party, Irish section of the CWI

Hansfield SDZ: Dublin 15

More public transport and schools needed

by Ruth Coppinger,
Socialist Party Councillor

A PLAN for 3,000 multi-storey houses and apartments in the Hansfield Special Development Zone (SDZ) is another example of the profits of developers being put first, before the needs of the people of Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

Hansfield SDZ was chosen by the government to be fast-tracked for housing, but the transport and infrastructure is not in place. Dublin 15 has seen one of the greatest population growths in the country, from 40,000 to 90,000 in ten years, but without the transport, schools and facilities needed.

The SDZ comes with the usual promises of better transport in the future, but with no dates or definite commitments. 2,500 units - or 7,000 people - could be in situ without any extra trains and buses. Another 500 houses will be added if approval is given for the Dunboyne line to open.

Open space provision in the plan is also scandalous. While a small amount is on-site, the bulk is three to four miles away. To seal the Council vote, the developer dangled a few more acres for a park. But open space could and should be acquired directly beside the site.

The Socialist Party argued that the SDZ should not be voted through at all without additional capacity on the Clonsilla rail line, new bus routes and a definite date for a rail service to Dunboyne. We also fought to change the open space and density.

Unfortunately, only the two Socialist Party Councillors voted against putting the plan on public display. All the other parties, including Labour and Sinn Fein, let it proceed.

The Socialist Party is organising meetings to encourage residents to lobby their Councillors tellng them that the SDZ is premature and unsustainable until the infrastructure needed in Greater Blanchardstown is actually delivered - not just promised.

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