Article from the Sept 2004 edition, Socialist Voice
Swords rezoning - A recipe for disaster
PLANS TO rezone huge parts of Swords is causing growing anger and concern amongst local people. Ridgewood/ Rivervalley on one side and Castleview/ Applewood on the other, will see an explosion of thousands of new houses being built on an existing green belt. Swords would grow by almost 25% placing further strain on already inadequate local services.
By Hugh Carlin
Power cuts and water shortages are now a regular event in the area.
With thousands of new houses planned, developers will look to break through existing roads turning the affected estates into traffic "rat runs". Children's safety will be put at risk and traffic congestion will reach crisis point.
Large areas of Swords already look like a permanent building site as more fields disappear under developers' concrete.
A concrete sprawl with no planned facilities is a recipe for disaster.
Parents in Rivervalley already have to queue overnight each year to enrol their children in the Loretto secondary school for a mere 30 places.
The council admits it has enough land set aside to cater for residential purposes until 2010. Cynically the council waited until after the local elections in June to unveil this plan avoiding a public backlash on the doorstep. The Socialist Party which topped the poll in Swords stood on the basis that the planning process must benefit the community not just wealthy developers.
In response the Socialist Party have organised a series of public
information meetings in Swords encouraging people to join the campaign. Well-attended they have allowed the community to voice their opinions and reflect residents' disgust at a council totally out of touch with people's real needs.
We have also been actively gathering petitions that have been submitted to Fingal County Council showing massive opposition to the plan. In the coming weeks and months the campaign will escalate through further protests and community action.