Dundrum residents turn out in hundreds to object to council’s redevelopment plans

Business owners in the area claim that the Local Area Plan will ‘kill off the village’

Meeting in Dundrum on July 17th 2023 over concerns about new draft local area plan. Pic by inern Rory Fleming who attended

More than 200 Dundrum residents have attended a community meeting opposing Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s redevelopment plans for the village and surrounding areas.

The proposed changes in the Local Area Plan (LAP), will “kill off the village”, according to a group of local business owners, which is spearheaded by Dr Ciaran Bent.

The plans will see restrictions on car access to the village, the introduction of new one-way systems and the extension of existing one-way routes, and a reduction in the number of access points to the Main Street.

According to the group of local business owners, this will see a dramatic decrease in footfall and in-turn have a detrimental economic impact upon the village.


Other aspects to the LAP include the construction of more cycle lanes, the moving of the village’s Dublin Bus depot to a neighbouring residential zone.

Residents in attendance at Monday evening’s meeting at Dom Marmion House voiced numerous concerns with the LAP, principally the lack of meaningful consultation on it.

A submission date for objections to the plans has been set for Friday, July 21st, with the meeting earlier this week the first occasion many locals had heard about the proposed works.

Citing concerns over the timing of the plans, with the public consultation period occurring at the height of summer when many residents are away on holidays, many locals claimed that authorities were trying to usher in the LAP without the necessary due process taking place.

Spokespersons from various local residents’ associations spoke at the meeting, highlighting how they believed the proposed redevelopment plans would impact their own streets and communities.

Local business owner Breda Cahill said: “No one yet has mentioned the Irish culture and what councils in general are doing to villages and towns all over the place – Dundrum Village should not be sacrificed for nothing. Progress can come in a lot of ways, but humanity has to remain first and people have to be able to live and survive.”

“There are plenty of councillors here tonight, and what I’d say to them is, we will all vote and we will remember who is supporting us and who isn’t, because this is wrong”, she added.

Dundrum Town Centre manager Don Nugent expressed support for residents. “The reason I’m here is that I want you to know that I agree with most of the things that were said here this evening. I love Dundrum as much as you all, I’ve worked here for nearly 20 years… we will be submitting our own thoughts and views on not just things that we don’t agree with, but also proposing some solutions too,” he said.

The meeting itself lasted just shy of two and a half hours, with a number of local councillors also in attendance .

Multiple councillors voiced their discontent with the proposals, again accepting the claim that not enough discourse had been undertaken with the Dundrum community.

However, other local representatives such as the Green Party’s councillor Daniel Dunne expressed their support for the LAP, much to the ire of the residents in attendance.

Speaking to the Irish Times, Mr Dunne said: “We owe it to younger generations to address air pollution and climate change. The local plan is designed to make walking, cycling and public transport viable alternatives for residents of Dundrum in addition to the private car.

“Let’s make it possible for children to walk and cycle to school safely. Let’s make the Bus Connects network redesign a success, so that workers in Dundrum can depend on that option. Creating a safe and pleasant public realm for pedestrians has been shown time and time again to increase footfall for businesses on high streets.”

Echoing these sentiments in his address to the village community, Mr Dunne’s perspective was met with a deal of contempt, with one local resident going as far as to label the Green Party’s climate-conscious policies as akin to those of the Gestapo.

Other representatives such as Labour Party councillor Peter O’Brien said while they agreed with many aspects of the LAP, he recognised the need for further consultations with the local community and hoped to see similar meetings regarding the LAP occur in the coming weeks and months.

The Dublin Rathdown constituency, in which Dundrum is based, is represented by three TDs: Josepha Madigan and Neale Richmond of Fine Gael, and the Green Party’s Catherine Martin.

None could be in attendance at the meeting. However, representatives present on their behalf said they would be relaying the concerns raised by local residents on the night to the TDs.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, when contacted for comment, said: “The Draft Dundrum Local Area Plan was placed on public display on June 8th, 2023 for a six-week period, ending on July 21st. Details of the public consultation, including where to view the Draft Plan and how to get involved, were advertised in a statutory notice published in The Irish Times on June 8th and on the Council’s website.

“The Planning Authority hosted a public webinar on June 20th – a recording of which is available online – and two drop-in days in our Dundrum offices where members of staff were available to discuss issues; these events were very well-attended. It is not intended to extend the consultation period beyond that set out in the statutory notice published on June 8th.”