31st May, 2010


As part of the City Plan Development Process the City Manager has recommended a change in the zoning status of land within the Dominican Convent. While the City Manager can recommend zoning changes, this is a decision made by elected Councillors.

Your local Fine Gael councillors will not support changing this land to a residential zoning. This is because of the unsuitable location of this land for further residential development and because there is now a sufficient quantity of zoned residential land to cater for current and future housing needs.

Draft Dublin City Development Plan 2011 – 2017

The Dublin City Council Development Plan sets out a vision and overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the city over a six-year period. The current Development Plan expires at the end of next year with a new plan being prepared at the moment. It will come into affect from the end of the year and will remain in place until 2017. The Development Plan contains the planning guidelines upon which all planning applications are judged against – in effect, it is the planning rulebook.

Current local Zoning for Dominican Convent Lands

Under the existing Development Plan, lands owned by the Dominican Sisters are currently zoned as Z12 and Z15. Broadly, this zoning recognises the land as an environmental amenity with potential future use as recreational or community facilities. Any applications for development on this site under the current zoning regulations would require a Master Plan to put in place. Such a plan would necessitate large green areas and a housing strategy at its core.

Public Consultation

In excess of one thousand submissions were received from the public outlining their views on the proposed Development Plan and what changes they would like to see. One particular submission was made by Kieran O’Malley & Co. Ltd on behalf of the Dominican Sisters, Cabra. This submission sought changes to the zoning regulations for these lands. A request was made of the City Council to allow for part of the site to be re-zoned as Z10B. Such re-zoning would allow for possible mix-use development. This would allow many forms of development including some residential use.

Manager’s Report to Submissions received

In response to the submission received by the City Council from the Dominican Sisters, the Planning Department has proposed to amend the current zoning objective for this site. The Council has proposed re-zoning a section of the Convent land adjacent to Abbey Drive from Z15 to Z1. Such a change would permit the Planning Department to consider future planning applications to develop the site for large-scale residential development.

Next Steps of the Development Process

The public consultation phase of the draft Development Plan process ended on March 12th. City Councillors were recently provided with a report from the City Manager outlining his response to the submissions received and what alterations he proposes to make to the draft plan. It is only the City Councillors that can decide whether to approve or reject the proposed changes by management. Any amendments made by Councillors will then have to go out to public consultation in the Autumn for your consideration.

Fine Gael perspective on proposed changes and next steps

Your local Fine Gael team will not vote for a Z1 status for this land. There is already a large amount of zoned land in the district. Additionally we do not believe that this location is suitable for future residential development. The Council has not supported such zoning proposals in other parts of the City. It should not be supported here.

Councillor Mary O’Shea and I have written to the owners of this land to understand why a change in zoning has been requested. We will share this information with interested residents and work with the local community to ensure that your needs and concerns are fully represented.