METRO NORTH PLANNING UPDATE
I am writing to provide you with an update on the decision taken by An Bord Pleanala to grant permission for the RPA’s application for Railway Order allowing the construction of Metro North to go ahead. I work closely with Councillor Mary O’Shea on all local matters, please get in touch with us if we can ever be of help.
WILL METRO NORTH HAPPEN?
There continues to be much public discussion about whether Metro North will actually be constructed. Despite this uncertainty this recent planning decision is important as it will dictate how Metro North will be built, if a final decision is taken to implement this project
METRO NORTH – PLANNING UPDATE
Should Metro North receive the go ahead from the Government, construction of the project must adhere to a number of strict conditions which were attached to the approved Railway Order by An Bord Pleanala. The RPA and the contractor appointed to complete the project must be complied with either before or during the construction phase. Among the conditions laid down are:
– An extension of the Property Protection Scheme to include various other construction methods.
– The use of rock blasting will be prohibited at night.
– The establishment of a grievance resolution procedure.
– The implementation of various construction traffic management plans.
Throughout the entire planning process, Residents for Realignment have worked tirelessly to ensure the concerns of residents affected by the construction and operation of Metro North are heard. Mary and I have worked closely with those involved over the last number of years.
PROPERTY OWNERS’ PROTECTION SCHEME
In the documentation lodged by the RPA in its initial application for a Railway Order, only a limited property protection scheme was provided for. An Bord Pleanala in its decision has ordered that this scheme be widened to deal with the possible impact of deep excavation works, soil compaction, pile driving, temporary works and enabling or utility works. Issues arising from ground settlement due to the tunnelling works and the construction of the underground stops are also included in the protection scheme. Councillor Mary O’Shea and I very much welcome this decision and we are content with the further decision of the Board to leave responsibility for the scheme with the RPA.
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTIES
Another condition prescribed by An Bord Pleanala is that if significant structural damage should occur on a property during the construction of Metro North, all works in that area must stop straight away. A complete review of all construction practices on site as well as the type of equipment being used is required so that the possibility of any further structural damage to local properties is minimised. Should an instance of structural damage be reported, it has been determined by An Bord Pleanala that residents will have an opportunity to get an inspection or survey of their homes carried out under the Property Protection scheme. It is hoped that this decision will allow for an efficient response to any problems associated with structural damage arising from the construction phase.
Both Councillor O’Shea and I are disappointed that the Ventilation & Emergency Escape Shaft directly adjacent to St. Patrick’s Junior school have not been included as a ‘named location’ area in the Railway Order. Residents for Realignment and others argued in the Oral Hearing that it was necessary for this to happen as it would ensured that site-specific schemes of mitigation measures would have to be agreed with the City Council. This would have provided greater protection to residents affected by this work.
Managing the level of construction traffic along this section of the route was examined in detail by the Board. Restrictions will be in place on Millbourne Avenue to limit the volume of construction traffic during the morning and evening school runs. An Bord Pleanala has also directed that no construction traffic will be permitted to travel along Ferguson Road or Home Farm Road.
DRUMCONDRA STATION – CONSTRUCTION TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
In the Traffic Management Plans considered by An Bord Pleanala it is clear that St. Mobhi Road and Lower Drumcondra Road will be severely impacted throughout the entire construction period. In relation to the Drumcondra stop, An Bord Pleanala has agreed to the RPA request that a section of St. Alphonsus Road be closed off throughout the construction phase. However, it has been agreed that a turning circle be installed so that residents will continue to have access to the Lower Drumcondra Road. Another requisite outlined in An Bord Pleanala’s approval of this project is that the contractor appointed by the RPA provides sufficient on-site parking for all staff. This decision is aimed at preventing any loss of on-street parking for residents in the areas affected.