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1. What is the City Edge Project and who is behind it?

The City Edge Project is a joint initiative between South Dublin County Council (SDCC) and Dublin City Council (DCC) to create a new liveable, sustainable and climate resilient urban quarter at the western edge of Dublin City. The project area covers 700 hectares within the Naas Road, Ballymount and Park West areas and has the potential for 40,000 new homes and 75,000 jobs that would contribute €13bn GVA a year to the economy, making it one of the largest regeneration opportunities in Europe. The City Edge Strategic Framework defines an aspirational vision for how this part of Dublin City can develop over the coming decades, in line with national policy to rejuvenate our cities and large towns and concentrate new housing and employment in existing urban areas.  It is within this context that the City Edge Strategic Framework was partly funded by the government under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund.

 

2. What stage is the City Edge Project at and what are the next steps?

The City Edge Project has a 50 year time horizon. Three high level phases are envisaged for the project. Phase 1 relates to the preparation of a Strategic Framework, which has just been completed. The Strategic Framework sets out a high level vision for how this part of the City will develop over the coming decades.

Phase 2, the current Phase, relates to the preparation of a transboundary Statutory Plan (as the area straddles the boundary between Dublin City Council and South Dublin County Council).  Dublin City Council also require to carry out a Variation (amendment) to the DCC Development Plan during Phase 2, in advance of a Statutory Plan, in order to address land use zoning changes.

Both Councils will then jointly progress a transboundary statutory plan that will provide a framework for development consent and which will fully reflect the SDCC and DCC Development Plan zoning objectives. This will either take the form of a Local Area Plan (LAP) or an Urban Development Zone (UDZ) Planning Scheme (should legislation providing for this be enacted).  Either option will involve further background studies and public consultation before being approved.

Following Phase 2, the City Edge Project will move from a Plan Stage to a Project Stage under Phase 3 – Implementation. Chapter 12 of the Strategic Framework identifies area where development is likely to take place within the first 15 years post adoption of the Statutory Plan, and thereafter.

City Edge Project logo

3. What are the main conclusions from the City Edge Strategic Framework and what role do landowners and businesses have in relation to this?

The realisation of the scale of vision set out under the City Edge Strategic Framework will be a challenge and requires considerable collaboration between and across the public and private sectors. The delivery of this sustainable, vibrant, mixed-use, new city quarter with affordable homes, diverse employment, transport links, parks, and community facilities, is central to our commitment to compact growth and will require sustained public, political and economic support.

It is within this context that a set of priority actions are laid out in Chapter 12 of the City Edge Strategic Framework that are relevant to landowners and businesses. These include actions that seek to:

  • Underground high voltage overhead electricity lines both across public and private lands;
  • Agree a programme of local interventions to free up additional foul network capacity in the area;
  • Engage with the National Transport Authority (NTA) regarding implementing major public transport, walking and cycling improvements in the area;
  • Progress and expanding the OPW’s Camac Flood Alleviation Scheme;
  • Commence a feasibility study for the delivery of the City Edge’s first sizable park enhancement;
  • Carry out a detailed Energy Management and Energy provision Feasibility Study;
  • Progress the preparation of Risk Contour mapping for Seveso sites;
  • Consider a regional approach to the zoning of land for industrial purposes to facilitate the relocation (for those that wish to move) of existing industrial uses from this land to less central locations; and
  • Prepare a stakeholder engagement programme for the next phase of the City Edge planning process.
City Edge Project logo

4. We own a business in the area, what will be the implications of the City Edge Project for its continued operation, and will there be any support should we decide to relocate?

The existing businesses and jobs in the City Edge area are a cornerstone of the Dublin economy and are key to the continued success of the City. Businesses within the City Edge area make a significant contribution to the economy of Dublin in terms of employment provision and GVA (gross value added) contribution. It is important to recognise this current economic value when considering how new and emerging sectors will contribute to the growth and development of the future City Edge economy.

The economic profile of the area has been reviewed and existing and emerging growth sectors that are a best fit for the area have been identified.  However, the sectors mentioned in the Strategic Framework are not exhaustive. There will be continued support for existing industry within City Edge and from a land use perspective, this will be encouraged and accommodated on lands identified for ‘Urban Industry’ and ‘Mixed Use’. Over the long term, it is envisaged that, in tandem with mixed use development, employment in the area will continue to diversify, evolve and expand from a base of approx. 25,000 jobs to approx. 75,000 jobs.

For those businesses who are interested in moving to facilitate redevelopment, this will be a challenge and requires considerable collaboration between and across the public and private sectors. It is an Action in Chapter 12 of the Strategic Framework to investigate the potential for a regional approach between adjoining local authorities to zone land for industrial purposes to facilitate relocation, not just from City Edge but from a range of other centrally located industrial estates around Dublin.

City Edge Project logo

5. How does the City Edge Project affect the zoning of Land and making of planning applications?

The City Edge Project is currently at a high level non-statutory stage.  The Strategic Framework is not a basis for development consent and does not rezone any lands. The zoning of lands is a function of the South Dublin County Council (SDCC) and Dublin City Council (DCC) Development Plans, which are available to view on the www.sdcc.ie and www.dublincity.ie  websites. The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage have set up a useful on-line facility (www.myplan.ie) that allows for the zoning objectives across different development plans to be viewed on one website.

A statutory DCC Local Area Plan (LAP) is also in place for Naas Road Lands until January 2023. The City Edge Strategic Framework has taken cognisance of the various Development Plan zoning objectives that apply to the City Edge Lands as well as the Naas Road LAP.  Dublin City Council also require to carry out a Variation (amendment) to the DCC Development Plan, in advance of preparing a Statutory Plan for City Edge, in order to address land use zoning issues.   Following the DCC Variation, the intention is that both Councils will jointly progress a transboundary statutory plan for the entire City Edge area that will provide a framework for development consent which would fully reflect the SDCC and SDCC Development Plan zoning objectives.

Until such time as a Statutory Plan and/or Variation are in place, development and planning proposals will largely continue to be assessed on a case by case basis against the SDCC and DCC Development Plans. The option of pre-planning consultation with the planning authorities (DCC and SDCC) will also continue to be available to landowners who wish to discuss their development proposals.

 

City Edge Project logo

6. The lands within the City Edge Project are majority privately-owned. How will the project be delivered and funded by Dublin City and South Dublin County Councils?

There are limited publicly owned lands within the City Edge Project Area. The realisation of the scale of vision set out under the City Edge Strategic Framework will therefore be a challenge and requires considerable collaboration between and across the public and private sectors both in initial planning, and in infrastructure coordination, funding and delivery. The delivery of this sustainable, vibrant, mixed-use, new city quarter with affordable homes, diverse employment, transport links, parks, and community facilities, is central to our commitment to compact growth and will require sustained public, political and economic support.

Chapter 12 of the Strategic Framework set out a roadmap for how this could be achieved including 24 key actions for the progression of the project, which are currently being prioritised. These includes important Actions around analysing potential infrastructure funding and financing mechanisms, co-ordinating stakeholders, and engaging with the Land Development Agency in supporting the regeneration of state-owned lands at Inchicore. It is also an action to preparing a strategy that will investigate options around the governance of the City Edge Project.

City Edge Project logo

7.

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8. What additional community, transport and natural infrastructure (parks and green spaces, etc.) will be delivered as part of the City Edge Project and by when?

To activate the regeneration of the City Edge Lands as a place for people, to live, work and visit, and to unlock its development potential, the City Edge Project incorporates a series of proposed key infrastructural components and projects that are threaded throughout the Strategic Framework. It is envisaged that these will include a the following:

  • River Camac Re-naturalisation: Deculverting and renaturalising the river Camac and its tributaries to help with climate change resilience and flooding.
  • Enhancing the Grand Canal:  Creating a more attractive setting for the Canal, enhancing active travel routes along it, and improving biodiversity.
  • Introducing & Enhancing Green & Blue Spaces: Introducing new parks (the River Camac and Grand Canal Linear Parks) and enhancing existing parks (at Walkinstown and Lansdowne Valley), to provide for recreation and biodiversity and to further help with climate change resilience.
  • Creating a Tymon to Phoenix Greenway: Linking this Regional Park and City Park whilst creating green links both for active travel and for ecology.
  • Undergrounding Overhead High Voltage Lines: Improving the setting and place making potential of the area by undergrounding overhead high voltage lines.
  • Introducing more Light and Heavy Rail Infrastructure: Coordinating with the National Transport Authority’s (NTA) Draft Greater Dublin Area Transport Strategy (2022- 2042) to create a new heavy rail station and light rail stop within City Edge while promoting two new (planned and proposed) Luas Lines with a light/heavy rail public transport interchange.
  • Introducing Orbital Connectivity: Provide two public transport orbital routes that will initially involve bus transport with the opportunity to transition to Light Rail in the future. These will also interchange with existing, proposed and planned light and heavy rail infrastructure
  • Setting out Centres and Nodes: Creating urban centres and nodes including a Major Urban Centre for intensive employment, shopping, socialising and activity and several local centres throughout the City Edge area.
City Edge Project logo

9. Will the entire of the City Edge Lands be planned as one place or treated as a series of areas?

The City Edge Lands are extensive in size and cover an area of 700 hectares. The lands vary in terms of character and access to amenities and infrastructure such as parks, transport and natural infrastructure including the Grand Canal, the River Camac and Lansdowne Valley Park and public transport infrastructure (both existing and planned).

 

The vision for the City Edge Project Lands outlined within the City Edge Strategic Framework envisages the creation of five new neighbourhoods/districts, based on 15-minute city principles, whereby most of the services, amenities and facilities that people use are available within a short walk or cycle from their homes.

 

It is envisaged that each of the Districts of Cherry Orchard, Kylemore, Red Cow, Naas Road and Greenhills will be interconnected but will also vary in terms of mix of land uses, urban hierarchy, building scale, community infrastructure, population and job numbers.  The proposals for each district will capitalise on locational advantages/opportunities while also addressing challenges in relation to infrastructure.

10. What is the benefit of high-level (concept) proposals contained in the City Strategic Framework that relate to the River Camac Naturalisation, creating linear parks and undergrounding of overhead electricity lines and how will these affect nearby sites and businesses?

The City Edge Project includes proposals around renaturalising the River Camac (much of which is currently culverted under the ground) and creating linear parks to help address climate change; increasing resilience to flooding; promoting the reintroduction of biodiversity and amenities for future residents, workers and visitors; enhancing the Grand Canal; and creating networks of walking and cycling routes. These elements tie in with the Strategic Objectives of the City Edge Project to create a Liveable City while targeting 50% Green Cover.

The renaturalisation of the River Camac and the setting of the river within a parkscape are two related objectives that tie in with the OPW’s River Camac Flood Alleviation Scheme.

It is recognised that land take associated with the linear parks and Camac renaturalisation  will be a challenge, however, this will be offset by our obligations under the EU’s Floods and Water Framework Directive, which seeks to improve water quality and ensure that new development proposals in flood risk areas either avoids such areas or is compatible with flooding.

Such land take would be further offset by the City Edge’s proposal to investigate the undergrounding of high power overhead electricity lines (subject to a detailed feasibility study) and potentially free up 15-19 hectares of lands in priority areas or 30-40 hectares across the whole of City Edge. In addition to adding to the area’s regeneration potential, the undergrounding of such infrastructure would expand the opportunity for coherent development and place making while improving the area’s visual amenity.

City Edge Project logo

11. How have businesses, residents, employees and community representatives been consulted in relation to the City Edge Project?

In the interest of informing and engaging with the public and stakeholders while at an early stage of the project, South Dublin County Council and Dublin City Council ran an extensive public consultation programme and conference over a four-week period from 9th September to 6th October 2021 (inclusive) in relation to an Emerging Preferred Scenario and concept for the area.  During this time a publicity campaign was rolled out, a series of on-line events were held, and submissions were invited as follows:

  • Advertisements in relation to the City Edge Project and consultation programme were published in the Irish Times, Gazette, People and Echo newspapers.
  • Press releases were issued to local and national media outlets and the City Edge Project received significant media coverage. News items subsequently appeared on television (RTE Six One News and the 9 O’clock News), on radio (RTE Radio News, Newstalk, 98FM and Dublin City FM), in print media (Irish Times, Irish Independent, Business Post, The Echo, The People, The Gazette) and in online media (The Journal, Dublin Inquirer).
  • A dedicated website, www.cityedge.ie , was created and launched to act as an information hub and point of contact during the Covid 19 pandemic. Consultation documents were made available on the website.
  • A ‘Contact Us’ function, which provides a facility to send messages directly to the City Edge Project Team was set up on the City Edge website. Alternatively, a voicemail can be left for the Project Team by using the phone number provided on the ‘Contact Us’ form.
  • The two Councils hosted two live online presentations followed by question-and-answer sessions on Wednesday 22nd September 2021 and Thursday 30th September 2021 during which the Project was presented and questions were invited from the public.  The City Edge Project was further promoted over a two day ‘City Edge International Conference’. Hosted by Newstalk’s Shane Coleman, speakers including European experts in the delivery of large-scale regeneration projects and placemaking. Videos of the international conferences and online presentations are available to view on www.cityedge.ie.
  • A Facebook, Instagram and Twitter campaign took place during the four-week consultation process, informing and directing people to engage with the City Edge Project.
  • Meetings were held with landowners who came forward to discuss the operation of their site and any large scale proposals.
  • Letters of notification in relation to the City Edge Project launch and consultation were emailed to community and residents’ groups through the South Dublin and Dublin City Public Participation Network (PPN). Letters were also sent to prescribed bodies, professional bodies and stakeholders.
  • Responses to submissions and observations on the Emerging Preferred Scenario/concept and accompanying documents were published in a ‘Chief Executive’s (CE) Report’ in December 2021. Submissions came from a wide range of landowners, businesses, community and residents’ groups and individuals. The issues raised in the submissions informed the preparation of the City Edge Strategic Framework. The Framework was presented to and noted by Elected Members (Councillors) of South Dublin County and Dublin City Councils in May and June 2022, respectively, and was subsequently published on the cityedge.ie website.

 

  • Following the publication of the Strategic Framework, an additional campaign to notify the public was rolled out in August 2022. Letters were sent to community and residents’ groups via the Public Participation Network as well as to landowners who had come forward. A press release was issued, and a social media campaign was carried out. The City Edge Project received additional media coverage on the radio (Newstalk), in print media (Irish Times, Irish Independent, The Echo) and in online media (The Journal). The cityedge.ie website has been updated and the Strategic Framework and accompanying documents are now available. Queries that come in via the ‘Contact Us’ feature on the cityedge.ie website are continuously monitored and responded to.
City Edge Project logo

12. Will there be further consultation on the City Edge Project and how can I participate?

There will be further rounds of public consultation as the City Edge Project progresses both at plan and project/development stages. This will include public consultations on the transboundary statutory plan (to be jointly prepared by South Dublin County and Dublin City Councils) under Phase 2 (Plan Making) as well as statutory consultation in relation to the Variation (amendment) to the Dublin City Development Plan 2022-2028 to address land use zoning changes.  There will also be opportunities for submissions during  the planning application process on individual projects and development proposals during Phase 3 (Implementation), or on any planning application received in the meantime (planning applications can be viewed on both Councils’ websites www.sdcc.ie and www.dublincity.ie).

Statutory consultation, at a minimum, normally involves advertisement of the display of planning and technical material for inspection by the public together with an invite for submissions. This approach can also be augmented by other consultation mediums such as online presentations, questions and answers sessions, meetings with representatives and extended publicity campaigns.

 

13. Are there contact details available to directly liaise with a member of the City Edge Project Team?

The ‘Contact Us’ function at the top right-hand corner of the page will allow you to send a query directly to the City Edge Project Team. Alternatively, a voicemail can be left for the Project Team to respond to by using the phone number provided.

14. The City Edge Project and the planning system is quite technical in nature, do I need to employ specialist planning expertise to engage with the project?

For general queries on the City Edge Project and to engage in future public consultations, specialist knowledge of the planning system is not essential. The ‘Contact Us’ function at the top right-hand corner of the page will allow you to send a query directly to the City Edge Project Team at any time. Alternatively, a voicemail can be left for the Project Team to respond to by using the phone number provided.

For detailed planning proposals (including engagement with the pe-planning process) and site appraisals or valuations, it is advised however that specialist advice is sought independently.

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