Home > Presentation
The Alliance of 13 Residents' Associations affected by the Stepaside Area Action Plan
  1. The following is the Alliance's response to the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council letter dated 26th May'00.

  2. The Alliance of thirteen residents associations representing over 8,000 of your residents want and require an independent environmental impact assessment. On the assumption that the council is there to serve the needs of its residents, this, of itself, should be enough justification.

    In addition, we are advised that EU law does require such an evaluation. We attach extracts of the judgement of the European Court (Fifth Chamber) dated 21st September 1999.

    We hope the Council will accede to what is an eminently reasonable request from the vast majority of residents in the area. However, we reserve the right to seek a judicial review if this is not the case.

  3. The Society of the Irish Motor Industry estimates that new vehicle ownership has been growing at almost 11 % in the Greater Dublin Area over the last 3 years. In addition, the current proposal will raise car ownership within the Stepaside Area alone from 3,585 in 1998 to 8,886 in 2003. This is an increase of 148% in five years. The combined effect is a potential increase of 40% per annum in traffic on the roads in the area. This does not take into account the major developments in the surrounding areas.

    It is now generally accepted that the design capacity of the South Eastern Motorway will be exceeded well before it is opened. It is, also, obvious from the data supplied by the Council that it will do little to ameliorate the traffic problems that are arising.

    Any reasonable/rational person can see that without major planning provisions made now their will be traffic chaos within 3 years We believe that it is eminently reasonable that over 8,000 residents demand that you plan to avoid this now. It is imperative that a full traffic study be carried out now and be completed before any development takes place. In a PPP project valued at more than £1 billion, resources cannot be a problem.

  4. From the information we have, neither the South Eastern Motorway nor the LUAS Line B will be operational by 2003. If the Council knows differently we would like them to give us the necessary assurances in writing.

  5. We thank you for your action in relation to the new national schools. However, you seem doubtful that a fourth school is required. We will be happy to share with you the data on which we based our calculations which show that four additional sixteen teacher schools are a minimum requirement.

    Can we clarify that you are providing space for five schools including the Gaelscoil which is full already. Can you please indicate to us in writing where the sites are being preserved.

    In relation to Secondary Schools: There will be 2,846 children between the ages of 12 and 18 years residing in the area without any schools when this development is complete. I am sure you will agree that this is not acceptable.

  6. There is nothing in the Action Plan to assure us of the number, location or infrastructural support for either indoor or outdoor sport or leisure facilities in the area. Your proposal to wait until after the Action Plan is approved ". . . to take up the matter of their provision with the developers. . . " is hardly credible and is totally unacceptable to the Alliance. The provision of these facilities in precise detail must be included in the Action Plan.

  7. A 'green belt' within the Action Plan has been identified as vital to the migratory activity of many species of birds as it provides the last route to the Wicklow Hills from South Dublin. The Green Spine within the Plan cannot achieve this purpose. To try and achieve this objective we propose leaving intact and undisturbed the vast majority of existing hedgerows and trees. This must be stipulated as a revision to the Plan along with very substantial penalties that would be levied should any damage occur. We would be pleased to provide professional advice to assist in the design of this habitat.

  8. At a number of meetings with the Council you agreed that not more than 400-500 houses per annum would be built. Now you say that you cannot 'cap' construction. Given the serious nature and scale of the infrastructural deficits outlined above, the chaos that is likely to ensue and the time required to put them in place, we have to insist on some agreement here. We feel strongly enough about this to consider a judicial review on this issue also.

  9. We thank you for your agreement on the appointment of a Project Manager as requested. We would respectfully request you to send us a copy of his/her terms of reference at your convenience.

    In Conclusion: We would like to point out that every one of the points raised above would be covered in an Environmental Impact Study.

  1. Memo

    Your attention is drawn to the findings of the European Court (Fifth Chamber) in its judgement against Ireland dated 21st September 1999. Paragraphs 20 to 22 state:

  2. According to the Commission, projects which do not exceed the thresholds set may none the less have significant environmental effects. Two factors are important in that regard.

  3. The first factor is that certain sites which are particularly sensitive or valuable may be damaged by projects which do not exceed the thresholds set. This is the case with areas identified as valuable and important for nature conservation and areas of particular archaeological or geomorphological interest.

  4. The second factor is that the legislation fails to take account of the cumulative effect of projects. A number of separate projects, which individually do not exceed the threshold set and therefore do not require an impact assessment may, taken together, have significant environmental effects.

    The Findings of the Court include:

  5. So, a Member State which established criteria and/or thresholds at a level such that, in practice, all projects of a certain type would be exempted in advance from the requirement of an impact assessment would exceed the limits of its discretion under Articles 2(1) and 4(2) of the Directive unless all the projects excluded could, when viewed as a whole, be regarded as not being likely to have significant effects on the environment.

  6. That would be the case where a Member state merely set a criterion of project size and did not also ensure that the objective of the legislation would not be circumvented by the splitting of projects. Not taking account of the cumulative effect of projects means in practice that all projects of a certain type may escape the obligation to carry out an assessment when, taken together, they are likely to have significant effects on the environment within the meaning of Article 2(1) of the Directive.

    Ireland was ordered to pay the costs.

Valid HTML 4.0! Valid CSS!

Stepaside Area Residents' Association
Copyright © MMII Stepaside Area Residents' Association
Designed and originated by Pat Naismith Web Design
Registered with Copyright Protection