Fingal Draught Plan by ytrusdm7


									Fingal Draught Plan submission

Cross Cutting Themes

Climate Change: To get to public transport we need bicycle lanes. I would like to cycle from
Swords to Malahide to use the DART but still judge that it is too dangerous to use any section of
the road. I park nearly 1 mile outside Malahide and walk in. It’s stupid.

Social Inclusion: With respect to allotments perhaps the retired and unemployed should be
given priority so that they have somewhere to go each day and a basis of social interaction. The
retired should also be exhorted to do more in the community. I have a granny who is 90 and
used be the matron in a big hospital, she has done nothing in 25 years despite being in good
health. Not acceptable or affordable.

High Quality Design:

Applewood in Swords had a plan and is an already an up and running community with the feel
of a village. Holywell had no plan and will no doubt be a source of huge social unrest in the
future. Why such a huge discrepancy in planning with presumably the same councillors
involved? Planning permission should never be given for housing estates where there is no
overall plan. Little arcades of shops always end up looking seedy and rundown even if they look
good on paper because of their car parking. We need more villagescapes.

Ten years ago in Sweden the apartment complex had a small building on a bit of green where
you threw in all your food waste (it was full of worms but looked like a normal brick structure). All
these ideas are out there a long time!

Other Items:
   1. I think the embryonic Citizens Charter drafted by FCC should be developed into a useful
        document so that citizens in Fingal know how to be good citizens! It should be an
        evolving document that changes continuously as our society becomes more
        sophisticated. All communities need guidelines on which to act.
   2. I would like to see a Kulturfest in Fingal. This is where you have a festival that takes
        place simultaneously throughout Fingal (i.e. in all the halls, in town, village, hamlet etc).
        There is a one off ticket charge for all events and public transport. They can do it
        Sweden why not here. The purpose would be to build a sense of identity in Fingal. Each
        community/town could rustle up a volunteers to facilitate events in each place and
        businesses could be canvassed for support.

Population & Housing
I worked in Sweden for a while and initially stayed in accommodation used by Volvo contractors
(people who might have contracts for 3 or 6 months but then move on). You had a very compact
room with everything built in. Also a walk in shower-bathroom – can’t be flooded. The rooms
were checked every week and the sheets etc were changed. The building had a restaurant, bar,
laundry etc.

My point is you had none of the hassle involved in renting an apartment or house. You could
give short notice and leave. Very useful for single people with limited means, uncertain income,
homeless,disability etc. Also good if you wanted to attract businesses to Fingal that have cycles
in product design like car manufacturers or plane manufacturers and need specialists for
varying periods of time.

Enterprise & Employment
The only part of Ireland that seems unaffected by recession is Galway, it has maintained a good
level of growth through good times and bad. I suspect this is because it has large services
industry relative to its production base and it is a place where people want to live.
The airport is a blessing and a curse. The endemic negative union culture hangs over it like a

Urban Centres
Coming down from Balbriggan you will end up in Howth. So it is not such a surprise that Howth
is part of Fingal. I’ve been to Blanchardstown many times but all I remember is a Shopping
Complex and housing estates. As the primary urban centre in Fingal it doesn’t feel connected in
any way to the rest of the region. Stick a few granite pillars either side of the road and call them
the Gates of Fingal or something.

Urban Residential Areas
   1. Parts of the sea off the coast in California suffer from very bad pollution due to the
       amount of ground that has been covered by cement and asphalt – water run off is the
       principal culprit. The problem is complicated but ensuring that as much rainfall as
       possible permeates the soil and is properly filtered is the principal aspect of the solution.
   2. The highest population densities should be close to transport hubs, existing or future.
   3. Blind people or people in wheel chairs should be able to walk to travel without public
       transport to the Pavillions etc. They should be part of the community not strange people
       who we have occasional sightings of.

Rural Fingal
   1. Every town should have a public (permeable) car park so that the main parts of a village
        or town can be pedestrianised. The parking format in Swords main street is a good one
        that might be applied gradually to other towns villages. The first half hour should be free
        and then charges should apply.
   2. Ideally there should be cycle/walking lanes running between villages but not on the
        roads, they should be separate. Roads are no place for cyclists – dirt tracks through the
        fields would be better.
   3. Small industrial sites/estates should have pedestrian access to villages to encourage
        people to walk/cycle in for lunch and preserve a sense of vibrancy.

Community, Recreation & Open Space
   1. In a row of about ten houses in our estate, the children go to six different national
      schools and the secondary school distribution, in a few years, will be similar. It is a
      disaster because there is no car pooling and we are all just off the bus routes. Everyone
      has different ideas on what their kids need and put themselves through considerable
      hassle to get their kids to the school of their choice. Pollution, traffic congestion, time
      wasting it is not good. This is our fault though not FCC’s.
   2. Our family would like to see an Educate Together Secondary School in Swords. The
      VEC schools turn out kids reasonably well grounded in a list of academic subjects.
      There seems to be no attempt at all though to turn out decent citizens (or decent human
      beings) aware of their civic responsibilities. The ET model where a lot of parents are
      constantly interacting with the teachers/management helps ensure that the enthusiasm
      and dynamic of the school are maintained. New VEC schools start fine but they seem to
      peter out when some key teacher or principal leaves. The default secondary school role
      as a ‘holding pen’ for teenagers then kicks in.
   3. Why schools in Swords in particular send so few students on to university is a mystery
      to me. Last year there wasn’t one Sword’s school in the top 200 in Ireland.
   4. Allotments are a great idea so long as they are on a use them or lose them basis.

Natural Heritage,Biodiversity,Geology & Landscape
   1. It is fabulous to travel around Fingal and see large birds of prey (Osprey?) circling.
        Maybe farmers could be encouraged to put up Barn Owl boxes as a means of keeping
        down rodents rather than other methods
   2. Malahide,Newbridge and Ardgillen are super but there is a tendency in Fingal to let the
        woodlands become suffocated by ivy. Some woodland management in these parks
        would be welcome to maintain a large variety of wild flowers.
   3. Travelling through France you will see ten times the wildlife that we have in Ireland. My
      impression is that they have more small and big oases of woodland where animals can
      live. There are a lot of small useless fields in Ireland (usually with rushes denoting wet
      ground) that could be turned into small pockets of woodland. If we end up in five years
      with potato farmers complaining that they don’t have enough bees to pollinate their
      crops it will be our own short sightedness (this is a growing problem across the world as
      you will be aware).
   4. In England they have been experimenting with turning areas (even sometimes
      roundabouts) into meadows with wild flowers. These are beautiful as well as being mini
      ecological wonders. It would be nice if small sections of green areas could be given
      over to meadows. These would have to be initially planted as long grass doesn’t
      constitute a meadow! The primary task of looking after these would be by the local
   5. Fingal’s gardeners (places like Ardgilllen,Malahide) are underused. They should be
      more active in a general role. If they were, the principal trees planted wouldn’t be
      Sycamores and Alder; large trees would not be planed beside paths (they will break up
      the pavements eventually which I don’t mind but other dimbats will want them cut
      down); roads called Birchdale Avenue would be obliged to have birch trees along them!

   Built Heritage & Archaeology
       1. It is a joy to watch the renewal of Swords Castle. I hope very much that will be a
           plan to make the refurbished building part of the town rather than museum. My own
           preference that one of the restored halls/church might be used as a theatre for
           small concerts, poetry recitations or drama.
       2. Fingal has been perhaps reluctant to emphasis its history because it has been the
           landing site for ‘invaders’ down through so much of its history. The only way around
           this is to emphasis the ideas and cultures of the different people who have lived in
           the region rather than the battles and wars. Fingal, rather than being a tapestry of a
           few different colours is now a mosaic of different nationalities which is great.
       3. The Norman towers in Swords,Lusk and Balrothery are fine buildings and should be
           used more. Everytime I pass them I imagine them communicating with each other
           using light signals that there is rebellion afoot etc. They are underused.
       4. It might be worth having an interpretive centre that assembles all the stories ( with a
           sample of artefacts) revealed by ongoing architecture. The site for this should be in
           Balbriggan to remove its status as the least attractive town in Fingal. It is the only
           part of Fingal I can never find a reason to visit.
       5. It would be great if there was an Irish ‘Time Team’ to do small digs!
       6. A monastery type building was restored up in Howth harbour. I was waiting a long
           time to get into see it but it never opened to my knowledge. I don’t fully understand
           this kind of thing. Once restored or preserved, buildings should be opened and

   In the USA they did a very detailed study (Scientific American) to see why some states
   continuously lagged behind others economically. Of course there were many reasons,
   however they found that prosperity was found where there was ample ‘facilities’. This would
   mean a lot more than just infrastructure, but infrastructure underpins everything else. In a
   nutshell business investment, and the desire to live in a place, follows rather than leads
   public investment.

       1. A lot of building went on sites that I would have considered reclaimed marshes.
          Flooding no doubt will be an intermittent problem. The sea level will rise, the only
          question is by how much and how fast. But FCC knows this.

General points
There is going to be a dearth of money for a long time and unless we get smarter the country
will be close to insolvency for the foreseeable future. This is going to mean that FCC will have to
look to local volunteers and businesses to do more.

In the present environment what we need is a bit of momentum I would like to suggest the
following slogan to boost the spirits of the citizens of Fingal:

        Fare forward, fair Fingal!

Fare forward is used several times by the poet T.S.Elliott in his third quartet the ‘Dry Salvages’
(some rocks,skerries of the coast of Maine, USA).
Why this is particularly apt for Fingal is that fare is a word with many connotations i.e.seafarer
etc The verb to travel go is fare in Norwegian, fara in Swedish, fahren in German, faran in Old
English so it ties in well with our heritage of fair foreigners.

Tony Dolan
31 Milesian Avenue
Swords, Co.Dublin

Mob. 083 0022720
Ph:01 8409217

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