Imagine Dundrum open meeting and community conversation summary of report
Imagine Dundrum is a voluntary group of local residents from across the Dundrum area, formed in response to the imminent redevelopment of Dundrum Village, and the County Council’s proposed Local Area Plan. The group is campaigning for a community-focused vision for the renewal of Dundrum’s core built environment, working with the County Council, public representatives, the new developers and all interested local organisations, businesses and individuals, to ensure that the future Dundrum retains its own unique character and heritage, and is a place where everyone feels happy to live, work and belong.
Imagine Dundrum held its first Open Meeting in June 2017, and has now published a full report of the proceedings. This meeting had two main aims: to introduce the group and its thinking to a wider audience, and to gather the views and ideas of as many local residents as possible. Participants took part in a lively and wide-ranging ‘community conversation’ on three key topics:
‘Why is Dundrum important to you?’; ‘Dundrum now: issues and things that need to change’; and ‘Dundrum in future: what would make it a great place to live?’.
The meeting began with two guest speakers: Des Keogh, well-known actor and broadcaster and local resident, and Professor Mary P. Corcoran of Maynooth, known for her studies of Irish suburban life. Members of the Imagine Dundrum group presented: their work to date; an illustrated history of Dundrum Village; Imagine Dundrum’s fundamental design principles for the new Dundrum; and illustrative drawings showing how the new development could incorporate these principles. The Chair of the meeting highlighted the fact that Dundrum is no greenfield site – the new development will be so much more than buildings; it will shape a community and its life for generations to come.
Attendance at the meeting exceeded expectations, with around 160 participants contributing a rich range of ideas and views, and expressing their concerns for Dundrum. The results of these conversations show the strength of local feeling for the future of our home place, and the commitment of so many people to working for the best possible outcome, one which will enhance Dundrum itself while retaining its special character, and will also strengthen our community.
The conversations showed that the participants in the meeting fully endorsed Imagine Dundrum’s proposals and principles. They welcomed the possibilities offered by redevelopment while agreeing on the need for a proper balance between residential, commercial and civic elements. They agreed that the newly-built Dundrum must reflect the heritage of the historic Village area, and support a thriving range of small independent businesses. They want a fully ‘connected’ physical environment which prioritises pedestrians and cyclists and links easily to public transport. And a focus for strengthening community life should be provided by an innovative civic and community centre in the heart of Dundrum Village. The meeting also agreed that the new Dundrum must be ‘future-proofed’ by ensuring best practice in environmentally sustainable development.
Finally, the meeting called on the developer, Hammerson, and on Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to engage actively with the local community, to ensure that plans for future development in Dundrum will reflect community needs and wishes and so can aspire to local community support.