In February 2021 Imagine Dundrum will have been campaigning for 5 years, and the pandemic won’t stop us celebrating the group’s achievements since 2016. Warmest thanks to everyone in our local community who has supported and contributed to our campaign to date. There is more work to do, so please keep in touch!
The draft Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Development Plan for 2022-28 is online now, at www.dlrcoco.ie, and will be displayed in Council offices from February 1st. It has over 350 pages,17appendices and many maps, so the 13 week public consultation period will be needed! Imagine Dundrum will be in touch with local people about the proposals for Dundrum, so watch this space!
We lit up the Village for Christmas! Imagine Dundrum secured a Seasonal Fund grant from the Council, and with volunteer skills and energy, plus vital practical help from local businesses, installed Christmas lights on Main Street. We also teamed up with the Dundrum Library to showcase Christmas artwork from local schoolchildren. Along with the new planting and pedestrian areas created by the Council, the Village certainly looked more welcoming and cared-for than in the recent past.
Our first webinar: meeting the local community online – around 150 local people attended Imagine Dundrum’s very first webinar in late November. Chaired by author and journalist Frank McDonald, expert speakers offered creative thinking about: redesigning urban spaces for people rather than cars; including children and their play needs in the future Dundrum; making Main Street disability-friendly; and involving all stakeholders in planning our Village’s future together. Lots to think about and build on!
What does a Local Area Plan for Dundrum mean?
A Local Area Plan (LAP) is a statutory document that is prepared by the Planning Authority in accordance with the provisions of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) sections 18 – 20. The Local Area Plan must be consistent with the objectives of the current County Development Plan.
The LAP sets out a strategy for proper planning and sustainable development of the area. It enables the local authority to carry out a detailed assessment of any planning issues and this knowledge can be used to inform planning policy. The Plan gives guidance to any future development in the area thereby ensuring that any changes in the area respect and complement the local area. The LAP covers areas such as promoting economic development of the area, flooding and other environmental issues, biodiversity, conserving local heritage, the quality of urban design. community facilities and meeting the needs of all population groups.
In drawing up the LAP the planning authority must consult with the Minister, public and other interested parties before preparing, amending or revoking a local plan
Pre-Draft Public Consultation:
- The initial stage can consist of producing an issues paper that can be displayed in council offices and libraries for a period.
- Public notices in national newspapers inviting submissions.
- A public open day can be organised where Planning Department staff are available to discuss the process with members of the public and other interested parties. Forms can be available to allow people to make submissions on the proposed plan.
The EU Directive on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) requires EU member states to systematically evaluate any likely important effects on the environment of implementing the Local Area Plan, before its adoption. The County Council must also ensure that the plan does not have any significant effect on Natura 2000 sites (such as special Areas of Conservation and Special Protected Areas) as outlined in the EU Habitats Directive.
Imagine Dundrum invites you to join us to share ideas about all the important aspects of planning for the future of Dundrum, such as heritage, open spaces and recreation, community and social facilities, transport and traffic management and much more. This consultation is a really valuable opportunity to have your say, unfortunately in a tight timeframe at a busy time of year, but community input is vitally important. The public have until December 14 to make submissions at this stage.
Join us at an Open Meeting, December 5 in Holy Cross Primary School, Dundrum, at 7:30.
Imagine Dundrum has kept in close touch with the 7 Dundrum Ward Councillors since early 2016, but recently decided to engage with the broader group of Councillors who form the ‘Dundrum Area Committee’: the Councillors for Stillorgan and
Sandyford-Glencullen Wards along with the Dundrum Councillors.
10 of the 20 DAC Councillors responded to our invitation and joined us for a meeting in in February. The agenda focused on the three most important current issues for Imagine Dundrum: the urgent need for a Local Area Plan for Dundrum in advance of any major development; our formal submission to Council to have Main Street designated as an Architectural
Conservation Area; and our proposal for a Dundrum civic/ community/ cultural centre in the heart of the old village.
All Councillors were broadly supportive, offering further information and practical advice, and a number made specific offers of helpful actions at Council level.
Main Street: A History of the Heart of Dundrum by John Lennon was launched by the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, TD in Holy Cross Parish Centre. A full report of this highly successful night can be found under news bulletins.
Main Street paints a vivid picture of a village that has grown over four centuries and retained much of its built heritage throughout that time. Local historian John Lennon has faithfully chronicled the changes in Dundrum Village from the 17th century to the present day. He reminds us of the imperative to protect that rich heritage and to blend it sensitively into the planning for the future of the village.
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.
The illustrated booklet, Main Street: a history of the heart of Dundrum, was written by local historian John Lennon and produced by Imagine Dundrum to celebrate and raise awareness of Dundrum’s rich built heritage, and the need to preserve it in the light of forthcoming redevelopment in the village.
It was launched in the new Holy Cross Parish Centre by local TD and Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan. Around 180 people were welcomed to the Centre and the event by Parish Priest Fr John Bracken.
Anne Colgan, Chair of Imagine Dundrum, explained the booklet’s importance to the group’s campaign to ensure the unique character and heritage of Dundrum Village is not lost when large-scale redevelopment takes place. The vital information it provides will also strengthen the proposal made to DLR County Council for the designation of Main Street as an Architectural Conservation Area.
Imagine Dundrum hopes that current thinking on ‘place-making’ in urban redevelopment will ensure a more collaborative approach than before, one in which planners and developers listen fully to local people, who have the strongest stake in the best possible outcome. Imagine Dundrum has been pressing for a Local Area Plan process for Dundrum in 2018, which will provide significant opportunities for this engagement.
Launching the booklet, the Minister strongly supported its message and endorsed the aims of Imagine Dundrum and its work of nurturing the local community as the townscape grows and changes, urging all stakeholders to work together to ensure that community is placed ‘front and centre’ in the new development.
Supporting Imagine Dundrum’s promotion of a civic and community centre in the heart of the village, she said she was convinced of the need for ‘a dedicated civic space’, which would also be a community hub and a place for cultural events, would provide for ‘town hall’ type meetings, and fully respond to local needs and wants. She promised as a local TD to do all she could to ensure this key element in Dundrum’s future becomes reality. Finally, she urged local representatives and local groups to work together to ensure the new Dundrum retains its strong community focus and its special sense of place.
Local historian John Lennon talked of his personal ties to Dundrum and passion for recording its history, before outlining the long history of Dundrum recorded and illustrated in the booklet, noting a number of fascinating points in its development from medieval castle settlement to modern urban village.
Recalling the horror of local people at the previous developer’s plans in 2008, his hope for the future is for a new development that sympathetically and sensitively blends old and new and so retains Dundrum’s unique character. What happens now, he said, will set the stage by creating the physical environment for the local community for the next 50 years, so it is vital that we get it right!
Stephen Mulhall, lecturer in Architecture in UCD, outlined the current project that he and a group of 4th year/ Masters students are undertaking, imagining and designing innovative future housing possibilities in Dundrum as part of a longer-term UCD Architecture School concern with Ireland’s housing crisis. They were delighted to be invited to participate in the launch and display some of their architectural models to stimulate conversation and ideas. The students’ end-of-year exhibition in May will be open to the public, and they hope it will contribute to lively and productive dialogue about Dundrum’s future.
Closing the formal part of the meeting, Anne Colgan thanked everyone involved in the many different aspects of the publication and the launch. She hoped that the great support and interest which Imagine Dundrum has received over the last two years from local organisations, groups and individuals will continue to grow, so that in future the whole community can ‘look back with pride and forward with optimism’.
Members of Imagine Dundrum attended the exhibition mounted by Masters students in UCD’s School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy on housing ideas for Dundrum. In October, at the start of the project, Imagine Dundrum had met with the lecturer in charge of this project, Stephen Mulhall (who grew up in Wyckham Park), and briefed him about Imagine Dundrum’s work. Our website was on the official project reading list, and the students had studied the outcomes of our Open Meeting to discover what local residents were thinking. They had also studied the County Development Plan, and they had sub-titled their exhibition, ‘An Alternative Local Area Plan’.
There were many varied and fascinating ideas for Dundrum, illustrated by models and drawings, including several imaginative housing schemes (most but not all low-rise, high density) for the old Shopping Centre site. The need for genuinely public space in Dundrum was discussed, and ways of designing housing for older people in particular, to maximise social interaction with other local people. The centrepiece was a model of the whole of Dundrum from the ‘Town Centre’ shopping centre to the Luas Bridge, on which the different schemes and possibilities could be positioned.
Imagine Dundrum has worked closely with the 7 County Councillors for the Dundrum Ward, and in late September two motions referring to Dundrum’s redevelopment were tabled at a meeting of the Dundrum Area Committee. It is very positive to have these issues placed on the Council’s agenda.
Over the summer period, Imagine Dundrum made two submissions to the County Council, covering three of our key campaign aims: one seeking a Master Plan for Dundrum to guide planning proposals; one advocating a civic/community/ cultural centre in the heart of the new development; and one proposing the designation of Dundrum Main Street and crossroads area as an Architectural Conservation Area.
Members of Imagine Dundrum, accompanied by our local TD Josepha Madigan and her Constituency Officer, Stephen O’Shea, had a very positive half-hour meeting with MInister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy TD, in Dáil Eireann on Wednesday July 5th. The Minister’s PA, Jack O’Sullivan, was also present. The challenges facing Dundrum and the work so far were discussed, with the Minister providing useful help for work going forward.
Huge crowds at the Imagine Dundrum Open Meeting
Over 160 people, including residents’ groups, community groups, public representatives, local business owners and managers, and church representatives from all across Dundrum, Ballinteer, Windy Arbour, Goatstown, Taney/ Kilmacud, and Churchtown came together on Thursday evening to make very clear not only their strong attachment to Dundrum, but also their wishes and expectations for the future of Dundrum Village, in the light of its imminent large scale redevelopment.
Organised by the Imagine Dundrum community group, the meeting heard a range of presentations about Dundrum, its past, present and hoped-for future. The Imagine Dundrum group outlined its hopes and expectations for the new development, arguing that what is at stake is the fate and future of a historic village which is both a local community hub and heartland for people over a much broader area.
According to an Imagine Dundrum spokesperson, ‘the developers in Dundrum are not just involved in a residential building development or a greenfield site. They are building in the heart of a village and a community. We want Dundrum **to be a thriving place where people will live, work, and grow up in a vibrant community. We want Dundrum and its Main Street to retain its unique character, and become a truly attractive and welcoming place, where small and medium sized independent businesses are supported, and where intergenerational living is encouraged. We want to see substantial public space in the new development, and a new civic building that will be at the heart of community life.
The large gathering of local people gave strong support to these proposals. There was universal agreement that there must be balance between residential, commercial and civic elements in the new development, and that it must be a ‘connected’ environment, friendly to pedestrians and cyclists and with smooth links to public transport links.
They also agreed strongly that that Dundrum must provide for a vibrant, inclusive community, and that the new Dundrum should respect and reflect the heritage of the historic Village as well as showcasing the very best new models of environmentally-sustainable development.
The gathering called on the developer, Hammerson, and Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to engage actively with the local community to ensure that plans for future development in Dundrum can aspire to having local community support.
Anyone who missed the meeting can still send their view about the future of Dundrum to firstname.lastname@example.org
Coverage in The Independent: http://www.independent.ie/business/commercial-property/dundrum-locals-proactive-on-shopping-centre-future-35971126.html May 2017
Members of Imagine Dundrum attended TD Catherine Martin’s public meeting on ‘FutureProofing Dundrum’ which highlighted energy efficieny at community level. The seven Dundrum Ward Councillors were invited to a second meeting, to update them on progress and discuss ways in which they can support at promote Imagine Dundrum’s work at Council level, and help secure the best possible future for our area.
Planning is taking place for an open/ public meeting in mid-June
Members of Imagine Dundrum attended Hammerson’s Irish launch of its sustainability strategy, Becoming Net Positive: A Hammerson Positive Places Objective (copies of strategy booklet available from Imagine Dundrum on request).
Imgine Dundrum held a well-attended information meeting for local business owners and other stakeholders including churches, Airfield Estate and An Taisce. Strong support was expressed for our principles and plans.
Reviewed the Local Area Plan with view to possible actions.
Held a meeting on developing strategy for the coming months.
Met with Hammerson’s Development Manager for Dundrum.
Continued to invite feedback on our ideas and plans from local residents
Successful in application for start-up grant from County Council’s Community Fund.
October 2016 – January 2017
Made initial contact with Hammerson; began preparing to meet them.
Met and briefed the three local TDs for Dublin Rathdown.
Met County Council officials involved in an EU ‘placemaking’ project (the Urbacht Project) relevant to Imagine Dundrum’s work.
June – September 2016
The UK-based developer Hammerson, in association with Allianz insurance, completed the purchase of the Dundrum Village development site and the existing ‘Town Centre’.
Some Imagine Dundrum architectural sketches are revised, in response to Hammerson’s reported comments on possible residential element for Dundrum Village; expert advice on our plans obtained from a commercial property specialist.
Investigated possibilities for a civic/ community/ cultural space or centre for Dundrum (see the County Development Plan); visits were made to local community centres; a document drafted: Vision Statement for a Civic, Community and Cultural Space in Dundrum.
Imagine Dundrum was accepted as a member of the County’s Public Participation Network so is represented at its plenary meetings and receives information regularly.
Imagine Dundrum documentation produced: a one-page explanatory leaflet, a three-page Vision Statement, a set of illustrative architectural drawings and a powerpoint presentation.
Met the seven Dundrum area County Councillors, who assured us of their firm support (We have updated them on developments since then).
Met with County Council planning officials, to introduce Imagine Dundrum and share information and ideas.
Made contact with a similar initiative, Re-Imagining Phibsborough.
Information meeting held with local Residents’ Associations – 19 groups attended and 11 others expressed interest.
January – April 2016
Initial consideration in meetings of Dundrum past, present and future, and the relevant planning contexts and processes.
Studied the DLR County Development Plan 2016-2022, noting how it supports Imagine Dundrum’s thinking.
Generated ideas for action and outreach.
Group formed in response to imminent redevelopment of Dundrum Village (‘Phase 2’) and the County Council’s proposed Local Area Plan.