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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.