A lot of people have contacted me about the planned removal of trees adjacent to Fairview Park. I want to say from the very outset I was opposed to the removal of these trees and have worked to this end alongside my colleague Cllr Damian O’Farrell who made this point at all relevant meetings with Dublin City Council. In our written submission to Dublin City Council last March, while supporting the cycle track, we opposed the removal of these trees as we felt their removal was unnecessary considering the adjacent space inside Fairview Park for the cycle track.
Last February Cllr O’Farrell and I distributed over 3000 leaflets in the Fairview/Clontarf area bringing residents’ attention to the part 8 and urging them to make their views known to Dublin City Council on the matter. The cycleway plan from Alfie Byrne Road to Amiens Street including the cycleway and tree removal was presented to local councillors and while the proposal passed the the July session of the Dublin North Central Local Area Committee it did so without the support of Cllr O’Farrell. (I understand the proposal was also presented to the Central Area Committee as the cycleway covers two council wards)
At the meeting Cllr O’Farrell very strongly made the following points:
While the statutory requirements of the Part 8 may have been technically complied with, we felt that council’s public consultation efforts were below standard, particularly considering our recent experience with two previous part 8 flood defence proposals in Clontarf which were disastrous and wasteful of public resources, solely due to the lack of adequate consultation.
He also put forward that while we were in favour of the cycle track, we were not in favour of the proposal as put forward by DCC, as we felt the Fairview area was getting a raw deal, namely the unnecessary destruction of trees and the removal of car parking spaces.
He continued to reiterate our initial idea that any cycle track should be placed within the park.
A Part 8 is the way a local authority would apply for planning permission to carry out work and under a part 8, a proposal must be voted on by Dublin City Councillors (your elected representatives) before it can proceed. I understand an attempt to vote through this proposal will be made on Monday 4th September in City Hall. Damian and I will be doing our very best politically to make sure that this doesn’t happen and will be in touch before this September meeting. Again this is another example of DCC not listening to or taking on board the concerns of local people.
While in general a cycleway would make a positive addition, there are other ways this could be realised without destroying so many trees. We are hopeful that trees can be saved.