Graphics & Desktop publishing Drawing Office, Planning 20-2-2019
The overall aim of the Park West - Cherry Orchard Plan is to facilitate and co-ordinate development opportunities on a number of key sites while at the same time addressing the existing issues and challenges such as infrastructure, economic development, public realm and community/sporting facilities to deliver a sustainable new neighbourhood.
In order to make policies and future proposals for the area, it is necessary to evaluate the LAP area, identifying deficits and challenges which the LAP should help address. This analysis takes into account the profiles and demographics of the local population, the housing profile, existing community and built infrastructure and the submissions received at Issues Paper stage.
To provide context for the area as it exists today, this section begins by providing a brief background to the development of Park West and Cherry Orchard and an introduction to previous plans prepared for the area.
Dublin City Council (formerly known as Dublin Corporation) purchased farmland in the Ballyfermot area in the late 1940’s and the 1950’s, for the purpose of moving people from the tenements of Dublin’s inner city to new housing schemes in the Ballyfermot area. In the early days of the Ballyfermot Housing Scheme, Cherry Orchard was known only for the fever hospital, with the remaining land in agricultural use.
As Ballyfermot gradually expanded west, the Blackditch, Cloverhill and Cherry Orchard residential estates were developed in the 1950’s, 1970’s and 1980’s respectively. 1985 saw the opening of the Most Holy Sacrament Church (forming part of the Assumption parish), catering for the Cherry Orchard and Cloverhill estates. Some limited community facilities were provided, including for example, the Orchard Community Centre.
Additional housing development followed in the late 1990’s- early 2000s with the development of residential estates at Barnville Park, Cherry Orchard Court and Elmdale Court. This coincided with the development of a Framework Plan for the area (2002) which set out future plots for development, including the newly developed Cedar Brook, as completed in 2003-2004. Other facilities followed including the opening of the Cherry Orchard Equine Education and Training Centre in 2003 and St. Ultan’s primary school in 2006, creating important new focal points for the community.
Prior to 1995 there was very little development in the Gallanstown townland to the south of the railway line, now known as Park West other than the former Semperit tyre plant off the Killeen Road. The period between 1995 and 2005 saw unprecedented levels of development and this area quickly developed into a new area. Today Park West Business Park is predominantly characterised by a mix of commercial and office based employment uses along with an area of high density apartment development. It is a well landscaped and maintained environment with an abundance of artistic sculptures however it lacks the critical mass and connections to support services and create a greater sense of place and community.
In 2002 an Urban Framework Plan was prepared for Park West and Cherry Orchard. The plan primarly focused on the lands in and around the new railway station; the creation of new links into Cherry Orchard, and connections between Cherry Orchard and Park West. The overall plan estimated that the area could deliver approximately 3,200 no. new residential units and 170,000 sq.m. of mixed use space.
Since 2002 progress has been made in implementing aspects of the Framework Plan with the completion of the Cedar Brook housing development, Park West Pointe and a new train station. However, the recession hit Ireland resulting in a slow down in construction activity leaving these new developments somewhat isolated and yet to be fully integrated into the surrounding community. A number of large parcels of land remain undeveloped within the area.
This LAP updates the 2002 Framework Plan, in the context of the current economic climate and new statutory planning frameworks.
In 2005 Dublin City Council commissioned a study to examine development potential within the existing Cherry Orchard area and to review existing open spaces. The report (by Donal Walsh architects) made a number of recommendations regarding potential infill development sites along with recommendations regarding public realm improvements in order to enhance and improve the area for existing residents. While a number of these sites have been successfully redeveloped, a significant number of proposed sites remain undeveloped. The Park West Cherry Orchard LAP presents an opportunity to further build on the work that has been done to date in attempting to improve the existing environment within Cherry Orchard.
The Park West - Cherry Orchard area is characterised by three distinct land uses, in the form of office, residential and institutional, the latter comprising the Wheatfield and Cloverhill prisons and Courthouse and the Cherry Orchard Hospital. Located on the edge of the City Council administrative area the residential areas of the Plan are surrounded by large scale industrial estates creating a somewhat isolated feeling. This is reinforced by a number of impenetrable barriers including the M50, the Canal and the railway line, and also the Hospital and the Prisons which together significantly impact on the permeability throughout the area. While Cherry Orchard benefits from its close ties and links with the more established Ballyfermot area, the residential areas of Park West are surrounded by vacant sites, thus limiting integration with the residential areas of Cherry Orchard.
The existing urban and residential typology differs between the two areas of Cherry Orchard and Park West. Cherry Orchard, developed predominantly in the 1960’s to 1980’s is largely characterised by 3-bed, two-storey terraced houses constructed around large open green spaces. Newer development at Cedar Brook in c. 2003/20004 introduced some variety in housing typology.
South of the rail line the residential development at Park West is comprised solely of apartment developments (with a mix of 1, 2 and 3-bed units), in 6-8 storey residential blocks. Other divergences between these two areas in terms of social and economic differences are outlined further below.
Adjoining the new residential development in Park West Business Park is a modern office development (of c. 80,000 sq.m. commercial floorspace; an additional c. 7,000 sq.m was subject of a recent planning permission for change of use from office to residential, reg ref: 3798/18). Developed between 2000 and 2008, the residential and commercial blocks are set out within a landscaped setting which incorporates numerous pieces of public art sculptures. The area also incorporates a water theme, carried through to the relationship with the Canal and the location of the landmark “wave” sculpture. Moving east the landuse changes to industrial uses, with both light and heavy industry present. This change in use is also reflected in a change in the relationship to the Canal, with a high berm separating the industrial lands from the Canal bank.
A number of supporting retail and community uses can be found in both Park West and Cherry Orchard with two distinct areas currently forming hubs of activity; one at the mixed-use neighbourhood centre in Park West and the second focusing on St. Ultans NS, the Orchard Community Centre and adjoining play and park facilities. A number of retail units were provided at ground floor to the apartment blocks in Park West, in close proximity to the railway station, but these have unfortunately remained vacant since construction. As the undeveloped lands along the western edge of the LAP are developed there is a clear need to further develop a sense of place, a hub, and to provide additional retail and community/ social facilities to support future population growth. In order to help integrate Park West and Chery Orchard it is also desirable to link the two areas through the provision of active street uses within an urban street setting that provides an attractive and safe pedestrian environment.
Within the LAP area there is approximately 46 hectares of undeveloped land available for development 31.7 ha of in Cherry Orchard and 14.3 hectares in Park West. The lands within Cherry Orchard are currently all vacant sites under the ownership of Dublin City Council. The lands in Park West are largely vacant with some sites in use for car parking. These lands are also under a single ownership.
The population and housing figures for the LAP area are based on Census Electoral Division Wards of Cherry Orchard A and Cherry Orchard C. In order to obtain a true reflection of the existing population and housing profile the Census Small Area which contains Wheatfield and Cloverhill prisons and the Cherry Orchard Hospital has been omitted from the findings below. It is also noted that while the DED of Cherry Orchard C extends beyond the LAP into industrial lands, the lack of any residential/ hotel uses on this land means the census figures relate purely to the residential units (and hotel) within the LAP boundary.
Based on Census 2016 these two electoral divisions have a total stated population of 7,799 persons. If we omit the Census Small Area containing the prisons and the Hospital the figure stands at 6,304; of which 1,205 are based in Park West and 5,099 in Cherry Orchard. Comparing this figure with the 2011 Census there is an increase of 108 no. persons or a 2% increase across the area. From closer analysis this increase relates to the Park West and Cedar Brook areas with many parts of the area such as Croftwood Crescent, Croftwood Grove, Cloverhill Drive and Cloverhill Road experiencing a decline in population.
As can be seen from the population pyramid below the population peaks between the ages of 5-12 and comprises 13% of the population . The 2nd largest cohort is the 13-19 age groups who comprise 11% of the population. The majority of the population falls below the 40 years of age cohort (68%), with a particularly strong representation between the ages of 5-34 (51%) indicating a very young population with particular service requirements on demands for schools, childcare and housing. In contrast there is only 5% of the population over 65 years of age.
The Census shows a marked difference between Cherry Orchard and Park West in terms of nationality of the population. In Cherry Orchard 92% of the population are recorded as Irish nationals compared to 52% in Park West which has a far more diverse mix of nationalities.
The average household size in the LAP area is 3.1 persons, which is above the average size for Dublin City of 2.4 persons per household. 28% of the total households are made up of two person households, with 21% making up three person households, closely followed by 18% making up 4 person households. However, if we look at the two areas of Park West and Cherry Orchard separately we can see that the average household size in the Park West area is 2.4 persons compared with average household size in the Cherry Orchard area which is 3.3 persons. These figures show that household sizes in the Park West area are in line with the Dublin City average while household sizes in the Cherry Orchard are considerably higher. Furthermore, figures show that 22.5% of the total households in Cherry Orchard are made up of five or more person households, while only 3.3% of the total households in Park West are made up of five or more person households.
The largest single cohort of family type is that of ‘adult’ family (31.3%) while families with children at pre-school, early school, pre-adolescent and adolescent make up a combined 50.3%. In terms of household composition it is also noted that almost 20% of households are composed of lone mothers and children, twice that of Dublin City.
Across the entire LAP area 61.2% of households live in houses/bungalows and 36.6% in apartments. This is relatively consistent with Dublin City with 63.1% of households in houses/bungalows and 34.3% in apartments . However, if we look at the two areas of Park West and Cherry Orchard separately there is an obvious divergence with all Park West households located in apartment living, whereas only 19% of households in Cherry Orchard live in apartments, with the remainder in houses/ bungalows.
The LAP area contains two adjoining traveller accommodate sites located to the west of the LAP on Cloverhill Road. To the north is Bridgeview, which contains 10 no. traveller accommodation housing units and a community/day centre; while to the south is St. Oilver’s Park, which contains one house unit and 14 no. halting bays.
A 17-bed ‘medium-support’ communal residence is located adjoining the grounds of Cherry Orchard Hospital, accessed off the new road from Ballyfermot Road, across from the Primary Care Centre. This newly built supported residential unit is designed to house mental health patients living independently, and to facilitate their rehabilitation back into society.
Across the entire LAP area, the census indicates that 94.7% of permanent dwellings are occupied, 2.1% temporarily absent with 3.2% or 68 dwellings classified as vacant dwellings. Looking at the two areas of Park West and Cherry Orchard separately we can see that the majority of the vacant dwellings are located in the Park West area (45 No. dwellings) accounting for 9% of the dwelling units in the Park West area. The vacancy rate within the Cherry Orchard is significantly lower at 23 No. units accounting for only 1% of the dwelling units in the Cherry Orchard area.
The 2016 Census is used to provide the baseline information for residential tenure diversity, with the table below showing the breakdown for households by type of occupancy and the comparisons for Dublin City in 2016.
|Owner Occupied||Rented from Private Landlord||Rented from Local Authority||Rented from Voluntary Body||Occupied free of rent||Not stated||Total|
|Park West - Cherry Orchard||665||421||877||214||6||181||2364|
Voluntary Housing: Within the voluntary housing sector, the most notable change since 2016 is the development of 72 residential units recently completed by Co-operative Housing Ireland (formerly NABCO) at Orchard Lawns.
New Social Housing Units: There have also been a number of new local authority developments in the area since the 2016 Census including 24 rapid build units at Cherry Orchard Drive which are now occupied and 53 rapid build units recently completed, and a further 19 no. under construction together at Elmdale.
Adjustment of Private Rented Figures: In order to better understand the private rented market in the LAP area, HSE and DCC housing records were examined to determine how much of this sector is effectively a form a “hidden” social housing. Dublin City Council records for 2019 show that the LAP area contains 94 no. units in total subsidised by the Local Authority, of which 17 no. units are provided under the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS); 12 no. units in long term leasing; and 65 no. units are provided for under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), including figures for Homeless HAP. In addition, figures from the HSE show that 177 no. households in the area are in receipt of Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) payments.
Taking all of the above into account the Table below provides an estimate of the tenure breakdown for 2019 in Park West and Cherry Orchard.
|Owner Occupied||Rented from Private Landlord A||Rented from Local Authority B||Rented from Voluntary Body C||Occupied free of rent||Not stated||Total D|
|Park West - Cherry Orchard||665||150||1225||286||6||181||2513|
Estimates based on:
In order to fully understand the tenure imbalance within the Park West - Cherry Orchard area a number of aspects have been considered.
The percentage of owner occupied households in Park West and Cherry Orchard stands at 26.5%, a figure substantially lower than that of the City as a whole, which in 2016 had 49.8% owner occupancy.
A further key difference pertains to the levels renting from the Local Authority. Within, the LAP area 37.1% of households rented from Dublin City Council in 2016 as per the census, compared to just 12% for Dublin City as a whole. In order to obtain the real level of social renting in Park West - Cherry Orchard adjustments to the census figures were made to take account of those in receipt of Supplemental Welfare Allowance, Rental Accommodation Scheme, Long Term Leasing and the Housing Assistance Payment; in addition to taking account of the local authority housing completed since 2016 (often referred to as Rapid Build housing, provided under Section 179(6)(b) of the Planning and Development Act). This brings the total social rental figure to 48.7%, combined with 11.4% rented from the voluntary sector is 60.1% of the total households.
This indicates quite an imbalanced local housing market and creates additional pressures on the area in terms of increased demand for social support services and less disposable income to support and attract economic activity to the area.
Also, of note are the private rented figures. When the “hidden social” figures are excluded from the 2016 private rented levels this percentage decreases from 17.8% to 6%, which is a relatively small percentage of the overall tenure mix in the area, and well below the Dublin City Council statistic of 29.7% indicating a skewed housing market in the area.
There is a pie chart that captures the highest level of education attainment figures for the overall LAP population, with the percentages dominated by the larger Cherry Orchard population. Most notably from this is high proportion, 21.7%, of people who completed their education after lower secondary level (Junior Certificate),which compares to 11.6% for Dublin City as a whole. If we break down the census figures between the two LAP areas, the figures portray clear and startling differences in education.
The Pobal Deprivation Index is a recognised method of measuring the relative affluence or disadvantage of a particular geographical area using data from the census and compiled from the following seven indicators:
A continuum scoring range is given to each delineated area relative to a national average and ranges from ‘extremely disadvantaged’ to ‘extremely affluent’. In relation to the 17 no. of CSO Census Small Areas relevant to the LAP , between 2006 and 2016 there has been an overall disimprovement with an increase in the number of areas classed as ‘very disadvantaged’ along with no ‘affluent’ areas now present in the area . This overall disimprovement in the deprivation index is a concern, and appears to be partly attributed to the outward migration of residents from the Cedar Brook and Park West areas over the past decade.
At present the LAP area is considered poorly served in terms of neighbourhood retail use. A small group of local shops at Claddagh Green and a single newsagent on Cherry Orchard Avenue provide some local retail facilities for Cherry Orchard, but they do not form part of a hub or village and do not provide for supermarket retail shopping.
A new mixed use neighbourhood centre was provided in Park West at the “Plaza”, with undercroft car parking and a central internal public space at podium level. However, the vacancy rates of the offices overhead are reflected in the ground floor retail units, with limited uptake and limited opening hours to the single newsagent store present. It is noted that planning permission was granted in 2018 to change the use of some of the vacant office space to residential, which if delivered would provide greater footfall in the area.
In addition to the above, ground floor retail units were also provided to the ground floor of apartment blocks in the vicinity of the train station, but these units have all remained vacant since construction, again a reflection of limited use of the train station as a means of travel and the presence of surrounding vacant lands. Planning permission was granted in 2016 to change the use of a number of these vacant ground floor units from commercial to residential, but no work has taken place to date.
At the higher end of the retail hierarchy the area is reasonable well served by the nearby Liffey Valley shopping centre to the west and Ballyfermot village to the east, and while these areas provide a good source of local employment, their distance means they do not assist in developing a sense of place and community for Park West - Cherry Orchard.
The presence of institutional uses including the Wheatfield and Cloverhill prisons and Cherry Orchard Hospital is a dominant feature of the area. Serving wider functional needs these uses are large centres of employment which bring hundreds of employees into the area. However due in part to the nature of their activities, their physical relationship with the surrounding community and the limited services and facilities available in the area, positive benefits from having such uses in the area are not maximised.
Park West is predominantly a well-established business and employment area and primarily comprises two distinct areas Park West Industrial Park and Park West Business Park, the latter forming part of the LAP.
Park West Business Park is approximately 35.22 hectares and is zoned Z14 under the Dublin City Development Plan 2016 - 2022 with a land use objective to “seek the social, economic and physical development and/or rejuvenation of an area with mixed use, of which residential and ‘Z6’ would be the predominant uses”. The Business Park is set within a well maintained landscape of green spaces and high quality artwork and is characterised by own door office developments. However, there are also other commercial uses located within the Business Park area including the Aspect Hotel and the gymnasium at The Plaza. There are significant areas of vacant lands in the Business Park including lands surrounding the hotel and adjoining the M50. Both the Industrial and Business Parks are maintained to a high standard and offer significant employment in the area.
Adjoining the LAP lands to the immediate east is Park West Industrial Park which comprises c. 51.47 ha of employment lands, zoned Z6 under the Dublin City Development Plan 2016 - 2022 with a land use objective to
“provide for the creation and protection of enterprise and facilities opportunities for employment creation”. These lands are the subject of a review by Dublin City Council in accordance with Objective CE24 of the Dublin City Development Plan. It is also noted that the City Council was granted funding by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to carry out a detailed analysis of these lands and to explore their potential for rezoning, to deliver a greater intensity of use. The LAP is therefore cognisant of the need to deliver a functional land-use proposal that can work with the existing adjoining land uses, but also anticipating future change.
The provision of community, education, recreation and social infrastructure facilities has been audited for the Park West - Cherry Orchard area, see Figure 20. Cognisance was also taken of the immediate areas of influence i.e. Carna and the surrounding Ballyfermot areas.
There is a cluster of facilities at the corner of Cherry Orchard Avenue with Cherry Orchard Grove including St. Ultan’s NS, the Cherry Orchard Family Centre and the Orchard Community Centre. The latter community centre is host to a wide variety of groups and activities, with a boxing club, dancing troops, afterschool club and bingo night it is a hive of local activity. There are also a number of organisations dispersed throughout the LAP area who actively provide important supporting services to the residents of the local area, for example the Cherry Orchard Family Resource Centre ( the bungalow).
The Cherry Orchard Equine Education and Training Centre which opened in 2003 is a multi-purpose facility which provides important services and facilities for the local community including a community training centre, youth services and an equine centre.
In terms of sporting facilities, Cherry Orchard Park is well used by local clubs in the area such as Orchard Celtic Football Club and Cherry Orchard Running Club, however it is noted that there are no dedicated changing facilities for such activities (and limited changing available at the Orchard Centre). Cherry Orchard Football Club is based at Elmdale and their facilities include a clubhouse and a floodlit 3G astro turf pitch. The nearest GAA facility in the area is the Ballyfermot De La Salle GAA club at Gaels - Drumfinn Avenue Park.
Within Park West there is a commercial gym at the Plaza, while further east along the canal in the Park West industrial estate is a unit run by the Ballyfermot Youth Service providing kayaking, canoeing and fishing facilities.
With respect to the surrounding context, the LAP area is also within reasonable proximity to a host of other amenities and parks, including Le Fanu Park (also known as The Lawns) to the east, Spiddal Park to the north and California Hills (also known as Gaels - Drumfinn Avenue Park) further to the north of Ballyfermot. Le Fanu Park is immediately to the south of Ballyfermot Leisure Centre and currently has playing pitches and changing rooms. There are proposals to partially redevelop this park to provide a new ‘play / active’ park that will combine a play area and skate/BMX park, which will be located to the south of the existing leisure centre. Whilst, further north of the LAP area, Gaels - Drumfinn Avenue Park is used for GAA, soccer, cross country runs and walks and includes children’s play area and outdoor gym equipment.
St. Ultan’s Primary School is the only primary school located in the Park West - Cherry Orchard area. The school forms part of an integrated education and care facility offering a pre-school, care unit and after-school care in addition to the primary school curriculum, and it is widely recognised by the local community as the cornerstone of the community. Temporary accommodation has been provided on the school grounds over the past decade however the school is operating at capacity and there is a demand for additional spaces at the school. The existing enrolment number is in the region of 420 pupils.
There is no secondary school located within the LAP area with secondary schools in Ballyfermot such as St. Dominic’s, St. John’s De La Salle, Kylemore College and Caritas College primarily serving the area.
There are also several centres in the area including the City of Dublin Education and Training Board, which provide adult and further education and training for young people and adults.
There are a number of childcare providers operating throughout the LAP area, many of which are located in new purpose built facilities, such as Cherry Orchard Community Childcare Crèche, St. Ultan’s Childcare Centre, the Babes in the Wood Crèche within Cedarbrook and Giraffe Childcare in Park West.
The LAP area is served by the the Ballyfermot Primary Care Centre on Ballyfermot Road and a number of GP practices in Claddagh and the Ballyfermot area, and a GP practice in Park West at the Plaza. On the corner of Cherry Orchard Avenue and Cherry Orchard Grove, the former HSE health care facility is occupied by a number of family and addiction support services.
The Cherry Orchard Hospital accommodates a variety of healthcare services including residential care, day patients, the Dublin West Local Health Office, a Public Health Laboratory, Tusla and a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Facility.
The main areas of public open space within the LAP area are Cherry Orchard Park west of the Orchard Community Centre and old Cherry Orchard Park north of St. Ultan’s primary school. These spaces comprise a mix of zonings in the current City Development Plan with Cherry Orchard Park zoned as ‘Z14’ to seek the social, economic and physical development/and or rejuvenation of an area with a mix of uses. The most southern part of old Cherry Orchard Park is zoned as ‘Z9’ to preserve, provide and improve recreational amenity and open space and green networks.
The (new) Cherry Orchard Park which was developed in the 2000’s, is located adjoining the Orchard Community Centre and St. Ultan’s NS and contains playing pitches, a playground and an all-weather multi-use games area, with these latter facilities unfortunately sometimes subject to anti-social behaviour and vandalism. The public park is used by a local football club and a new local running club.
Elsewhere within Cherry Orchard there is a significant amount of smaller local pocket park spaces, all grassed with limited planting, amenity or biodiversity value and many mounded so that they (a) prevent clear lines of sight, and (b) are of limited amenity use. In some cases these open spaces are backing onto private rear and side gardens creating black spots for anti-social activity. It is evident from observation and from submissions received during the public consultation stage that the majority of these spaces attract anti-social activity and are of low amenity value.
Within the Park West area there are a number of high quality well maintained public open spaces, including the large circular space within the crescent building development. Park West has a number of public art sculptural pieces set within a series of smaller public spaces spread over the entire area. These areas have potential to form part of a wider network of well-connected high quality green corridors.
The Grand Canal immediately adjoins the southern boundary of the LAP lands. At present the accessibility to the canal is limited and there is little or no passive surveillance of the area which has resulted in anti-social activity in some locations. In places the canal is hidden behind poorly landscaped mounding resulting in poor visible connection between the Canal and the LAP lands. The Canal with its historic locks, waterside setting and towpath walks and greenway cycle / pedestrian route provides a wonderful yet underutilised asset to the residents and workers of Park West and Cherry Orchard and has the potential to offer new possibilities linking to amenity, recreational and other forms of water based activities.
The built heritage of an area contributes to its identity, diversity and overall character. The need to protect and enhance the existing built heritage is sought through the current City Development Plan and the Council’s City Heritage Plan. The built heritage includes the street pattern, local architectural features and the form of buildings and spaces. The protection, enhancement and management of the built heritage must be considered during times of growth. This section presents a brief appraisal of the natural and built heritage of the Park West - Cherry Orchard area.
The Planning and Development Act, 2000 (as amended) defines ‘Protected Structures’ as structures or parts of structures which form part of the architectural heritage and which are of special architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, cultural, scientific, social or technical interest. At present there are no Protected Structures recorded within the LAP area however the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) have recommended that the City Council include a number of buildings at the Cherry Orchard hospital campus on the Council’s Record of Protected Structures.
Following the NIAH recommendation, Dublin City Council commissioned a detailed study of the hospital lands. The Cherry Orchard Hospital was opened in 1953 as a dedicated fever hospital. It followed the passing of the Dublin Fever Hospital Act in 1936 and the setting up of a municipal board tasked with managing Cork Street Hospital and making provision for a new fever hospital in or near the city of Dublin. Designed by architects Fredrick Hicks and Alan Hope, the new hospital was laid out as a series of twenty individual buildings, designed as a coherent group and with detailed landscaping plans. The individual buildings were spread out to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. A small gate lodge signals the entrance to the campus on Ballyfermot Road, while visible from some distance is a tall red water tower.
A number of buildings/structures of the Cherry Orchard Hospital campus form part of the Ministerial Recommendations for additions to the Record of Protected Structures. It includes the following buildings:
Accordingly, under Section 53(2) of the Act, the “planning authority shall have regard to any recommendations made to it under this section” the recommendation requires these buildings to be considered as part of the conservation/heritage protection objectives (conserving and enhancing local heritage) for Park West - Cherry Orchard LAP.
The contribution of any features which give identity, enhance and make a locality unique should be given recognition. In this regard the industrial heritage of the LAP area is important. To the south of the LAP area the Grand Canal which is one of Ireland’s greatest engineering achievements runs through the entire length of Park West. In the 18th Century it was essential for industry and today it is a leisure amenity for water-craft, anglers, runners and cyclists.
In recognition of the role of industry in the development of the City, in 2009 the City Council in conjunction with the Heritage Council commissioned a comprehensive survey of the city - the Dublin City Industrial Heritage Record. This focused on the area within and surrounding the LAP lands. The Dublin City Industrial Heritage Record (DCIHR) survey made recommendations for eight sites within or adjoining the LAP area along the Grand Canal; between Ballyfermot Bridge and the former Dublin Corporation waterworks reservoir to be added to the Record of Protected Structures.
|17 12 001||Great Southern Railways||Railway||Historic/Industrial Heritage/Social/Technical||National||c.1845|
|17 16 001||Great Southern Railways||Railway||Historic/Industrial Heritage/Social/Technical||National||c.1845|
|17 16 007||Ballyfermot Bridge||Single-arch masonry bridge||Architectural/Industrial Heritage||Regional||c. 1770|
|17 16 005||7th Lock||Canal Lock||Historic/Industrial Heritage/Social/Technical||National||c. 1770|
|17 16 003||Grand Canal||Canal||Historic/Industrial Heritage/Social/Technical||National||c. 1763-79|
|17 16 004||Towing Path||Canal tow path||Historic/Industrial Heritage/Social/Technical||Regional||c. 1763-79|
|17 16 008||8th Lock||Canal Lock||Historic/Industrial Heritage/Social/Technical||National||c. 1770|
|17 16 009||Former Water Works||Waterworks||Historic/Industrial Heritage/Social/Technical||Regional||c.1862-63|
Of these surveyed sites it was found that: -
The ‘national merit’ sites are linked to the Great Southern and Western Railway line, which was opened in 1846 or sections of the Grand Canal which are located within the administrative area of South Dublin County Council. Both the locks and Ballyfermot Bridge are also listed on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, recommending protection.
Of particular note for the LAP is the former Gallanstown Waterworks located to the south of the existing Park West development, adjoining the Canal. The site contains old filter beds (now filled in), a covered storage reservoir (visible only as a slightly raised grass area), and a Stilling Pond (an open pond). Its unique underground reservoir and brick arches are considered to be of historic ‘regional merit’ and provide a unique and valuable industrial heritage feature with the potential to make a significant contribution to the physical, social and economic regeneration of the area.
The LAP affords an opportunity to utilise heritage assets in line with Development Plan policy, to develop an identity and sense of place. Heritage assets can be used to frame future development and can become memorable focal points, thereby giving legibility to the area. Structures of architectural and/or historical importance can also have potential for integration into the emerging urban fabric in a manner which safeguards their long-term survival.
There are limited known prehistoric sites or features within the LAP lands. One recorded national monument site (Ref: DU017-083) is present in the Park West area (Gallanstown townland) and is thought to be an early Christian Burial mound. The original mound which measured approximately 60m x 80m (report submitted by Coilin O’Drisceoil to DCC in March 1999), is located roughly under the circular open space to the front of the Crescent apartment buildings in Park West. Human remains were found on this site in excavation works carried out in 1999 during the preparatory works for Park West.
Three other National Monument sites have been identified just outside the study area, in the south eastern corner of Le Fanu Park and are listed along with their SMR number: -
Much of Park West - Cherry Orchard is covered in hard surfaces associated with buildings (residential, office, institutional etc). The LAP area contains a number of parks and smaller areas of green open space. One of the larger Parks, Cherry Orchard Park, which is relatively new contains a number of local community facilities and a semi-natural wetland area. Unfortunately this park is often the subject of anti-social activity and is perceived as unsafe by some. There is another area of open space to the north of St. Ultan’s primary school and to the south of the housing under construction by Co-operative Housing Ireland. Of the remaining smaller areas of open space mowed grassland is the dominant characteristic offering limited biodiversity or amenity value.
Existing green infrastructure of note within the key development sites, includes the planted buffer with the M50 and remnants of existing field boundary hedgerows within Site No. 4.
Just outside the LAP boundary are two key areas of open space:-
Grand Canal - running along the southern boundary of the Park West lands is the Grand Canal. Constructed in the 18th Century it was once essential for industry and today is a leisure amenity for water-craft, anglers, runners and cyclists. The canal forms a natural border to the south of Park West and incorporates the Grand Canal Greenway route; a recently upgraded 8.5 km pedestrian and cycle facility.
The Canal is a designated proposed Natural Heritage Area (pNHA), which is a site of significance for wildlife and habitats. The pNHA comprises the canal channel and the banks on either side of it. In general the ecological value of the canal lies more in the diversity of species it supports along its linear habitat than in the presence of rare species. The open reservoir associated with the former City Council waterworks to the north of the Grand Canal (not linked), and within the LAP lands makes a significant contribution to the wildlife and biodiversity of the area.
Le Fanu Park - located to the east of the LAP boundary is Le Fanu Park which is comprised of wide open spaces, grassed playing fields and an open canopy of trees of varying maturity. Although, there are no species or areas of conservation value noted in the Park the park is of local biodiversity interest and is a key feature of the area.
The canal is a designated proposed National Heritage Area (pNHA) whic is a site of significance for wildlife and habitats.
During the preparation of this LAP a high level opportunities and constraints study in relation to transport, drainage infrastructure and utilities was undertaken in order to inform the preparation of the LAP. The LAP lands are crossed by a multitude of utilities including underground and over ground electrical transmission lines, ducting, arterial water mains, foul and surface water sewers and gas mains.
The existing street network in the area is dominated by a car led approach, with wide distributor type roads and little focus on pedestrian or cycle infrastructure. Physical connections with surrounding areas and within the LAP are also extremely limited with restricted access points onto Ballyfermot Road and over the railway line and the Canal. The enclosed nature of the larger institutional sites at Cherry Orchard Hospital and Wheatfield and Cloverhill Prisons form large impermeable blocks to the north and west, while the M50 to the west further restricts movement (See Fig.17 Barriers Map within section 2.3)
The car dominated environment is born out in the census figures in terms of means of travel for the local population. The majority of the population aged 5 years and over travel to work, school or college by car (43.5%). This is followed by those travelling on foot (21%) and bus or train (20.5%). Only 3.8% travel by bicycle. In comparison to the rest of the city where travel on foot (25.5%) or bicycle (9.6%) accounts for 35% of all journeys.
At present the Park West - Cherry Orchard area avails of a reasonable bus service provision. There are two Dublin Bus routes which directly serve the LAP area; the 79 and 79a. In addition, there are a number of other Dublin Bus routes running along the Ballyfermot Road and Nangor Road where bus priority measures are in place. There are also two Express Bus Ltd bus routes from Park West serving the City Centre and Kylemore Road Luas stop. It was however noted during the initial public consultation stage of the LAP that residents are concerned over the level of bus services that are withdrawn due to anti-social behaviour resulting in lack of service. Further concerns were raised regarding the lack of adequate bus shelters and facilities.
The NTA have commenced a full review and re-design of Dublin bus routes under the Bus Connects project with the aim of improving efficiency and increasing bus patronage. Under the initial draft phase of this study ‘ Bus Connects Transforming the City Bus Services, the Park West - Cherry Orchard area will benefit from of a number of new Radial and Orbital bus routes that will serve the vicinity, notably radial route No. 7 Liffey Valley to City Centre, which runs along Ballyfermot Road. Public consultation remains ongoing in relation to the emerging preferred routes for the proposed Radial Core Bus Corridors, with an formal application to An Bord Pleanála expected in 2020.
Centrally located between the two areas is the Park West - Cherry Orchard railway station which opened in 2008 replacing the former Cherry Orchard Station further east. The station is located on the Dublin - Kildare main line which is served by commuter and inter-city services. The station has four platforms and is served by commuter and intercity services serving Heuston and Connolly stations however the infrequent services including during peak times currently do not make travel by train an attractive option. In examining the Census data and the breakdown of sustainable modes of transport, rail users represent a very low 2%. This is despite its central location and despite 2,550 people having access to the station within a 15 minute walk.
The National Transport Authority’s (NTA) Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016 - 2035 identifies a number of future rail infrastructure projects which would further develop the light rail infrastructure within and surrounding the Park West - Cherry Orchard area. The Strategy identifies the provision of fast, high-frequency electrified services to Park West - Cherry Orchard and onwards to Celbridge / Hazelhatch on the Kildare line (i.e. DART expansion programme) as well as the long term proposal for a new Luas line to Lucan along the Ballyfermot Road linking Lucan to the City Centre.
There is limited cycle infrastructure present throughout the LAP area. On and off-road cycle facilities exist along the majority of Park West Avenue and Ballyfermot Road however the lack of continuity along these routes results in a poor offer for cyclists and would benefit from upgrading. There is also a notable lack of cycling facilities provided in conjunction with the Train Station. The lack of cycle infrastructure has resulted in poor uptake in cycling among local residents and workers. Census data indicates that only 4% of people living in the Park West - Cherry Orchard area use cycling as their preferred mode of transport compared to the rest of the city where cycling accounts for 10%.
The NTA Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network plan identifies a number of primary and secondary cycle routes in the area surrounding Park West and Cherry Orchard:
An analysis of the topography of the Study Area has identified two primary drainage catchments within the lands. The LAP lands generally fall gently from North-West to South-East, with the highest point of the lands (at approximately 60mOD) located adjacent to the M50 motorway, which forms the western boundary of the LAP lands. The lowest area within the LAP lands (at approximately 44mOD) is located in the south-eastern corner of the lands in Park West Business Park. At a strategic level the groundwater vulnerability within the majority of the LAP area is identified as moderate, however the lands adjacent to the M50 are identified as high. Any development within the LAP lands, particularly within the area identified as having High groundwater vulnerability, will need to carefully consider groundwater impacts. It is recommended that further ground investigations are carried out at each of the proposed development sites in order to determine the suitability of each area for the incorporation of SuDS mechanisms.
An analysis of drainage catchments and the existing surface water infrastructure within the lands has concluded that the majority of the LAP lands are located within the catchment of the River Camac, which rises in the Dublin Mountains, and runs in close proximity to the southern boundary of the lands. While a small area near the northern boundary of the LAP lands (mainly the Cherry Orchard Hospital lands), and another small area near the eastern boundary of the lands north of the railway line and adjacent to Killeen Road are located within the Lower Liffey Lyreen Ryewater catchment.
The lands within The River Camac Catchment drain to a single outfall (Outfall A) at the south-eastern corner of the Park West Industrial lands. The two smaller areas of land which lie within The Lower Liffey Lyreen Ryewater Catchment drain to two separate outfalls; lands within the northern section of the LAP in the vicinity of the Cherry Orchard Hospital drains to (Outfall B) Kileen Road while the smaller area of land within the eastern section of the LAP drains to (Outfall C) Le Fanu Road.
A number of tributaries of the Camac River traverse the LAP lands. The Gallanstown stream rises west of the M50, is piped in a 1.7m diameter sewer beneath Hume Avenue in the Park West Business Park adjacent to the Grand Canal, and exits the LAP lands at Killeen Road at the south-east corner of the lands, where it meets with the piped Blackditch Stream. Once these two streams meet they are referred to as the Galback Stream
The entire Park West business park area south of the railway line drains to the piped Gallanstown stream. The Gallanstown Stream rises west of the M50 and is piped through the Park West area adjacent to the Grand Canal and continues along the southern boundary of the Park West Industrial Estate.
The majority of the Cherry Orchard lands to the north of the railway line drains to the piped Blackditch stream. The Blackditch Stream is piped along the southern boundary of the prison, through old Cherry Orchard Park and underneath Cherry Orchard Avenue. This pipe is then culverted underneath the railway line, and follows the alignment of Friel Avenue. This culvert is the only surface water sewer crossing of the railway line within the LAP lands, through which a large portion of the Cherry Orchard area drains to the Camac River. As this is the only surface water drainage crossing of the railway line there is a potential pinchpoint in the network at this location. This pipe is then routed south where it joins the piped Gallowstown Stream at Killeen Road. Both piped streams then appear at surface level within an open channel as the Galback Stream within the Kylemore Industrial Park. This open watercourse is later culverted as it travels south and passes under the Grand Canal where it eventually feeds into the Camac River.
A small portion of the existing Cherry Orchard area drains to a sewer on Le Fanu Road, while the area in the vicinity of Cherry Orchard Hospital and Ballyfermot Primary Care Centre drain to a sewer to the south of Cherry Orchard hospital.
The entirety of the Park West area, south of the railway line, drains to the piped Gallanstown Stream, which exits the LAP lands at the south-east corner (Outfall A) and eventually drains to the Camac River. The majority of the Cherry Orchard area, north of the railway line, drains to the piped Blackditch stream, which also exits the LAP lands at their south-east corner (Outfall A) and eventually drains to the Camac River. As previously alluded to, a small portion of the Cherry Orchard area drains to Le Fanu Road, exiting the LAP lands at Outfall C. The area in the vicinity of the Cherry Orchard Hospital and the the Ballyfermot Primary Care Centre drain to a 1.5m sewer which runs along the southern boundary of the hospital and exits the LAP lands at Outfall B.
A network of surface water sewers feed into this strategic network which is well developed in the built-out areas of the Park West Industrial Estate and Business Campus and the Cherry Orchard residential area, however there is a lack of existing drainage infrastructure in the vicinity of some of the proposed development sites, in particular in the vicinity of the M50 at the western boundary of the LAP lands.
Based on discussions with DCC Drainage Department, it has been ascertained that the feature in Cherry Orchard Park is associated with compensatory flood volume storage relating to the Cedar Brook residential scheme which is located immediately upstream of this location.
DCC Drainage Department have indicated that the reallocation of this space to complement the existing amenity uses and playing pitches in its immediate vicinity would a desirable outcome of the development of this LAP and/or any redesign of Cherry Orchard Park
Existing foul water drainage infrastructure within the LAP lands have been supplied by Irish Water and Dublin City Council while a review of the GDSDS has been conducted in order to identify the foul water network within the wider area.
An analysis of the existing foul drainage infrastructure within the LAP lands identifies two wastewater drainage sub-catchments, namely the 9B trunk sewer to the South and West and the City Centre sub-catchment to the North and East both of which are within the Ringsend WWTW Catchment.
As a result of the piecemeal and incremental nature of how the area has developed it is necessary to review the LAP area in terms of the supply/capacity for both surface water and wastewater drainage services. As part of the LAP process, and following a submission from Irish Water at the Issues Paper stage, in order to get an accurate picture on supply capacity information and identify necessary infrastructural upgrades for this LAP.
The LAP area is constrained by a number of hard boundaries such as the M50, Canal and Railway Line which are physical barriers which constrain the delivery of new drainage infrastructure and new drainage outfalls. Irish Water have noted in their submissions to date that a more detailed study will be required to determine if new large capacity foul drainage outlet would be required to facilitate the full development of the LAP lands. At present the development of the LAP lands is constrained by the capacity of the existing twin 300 diameter sewer crossing under the railway at Le Fanu Road. The Cherry Orchard Avenue area has some history of sewer surcharge which will require further investigation.
An analysis of the existing potable water supply infrastructure within the LAP lands identifies that the LAP lands are currently served by the Ballymore Eustace supply via the Saggart reservoir and the Belgard reservoir. There are two main trunks serving the LAP lands. A 300mm Ductile Iron trunk main traverses the M50 at Coldcut Road, north of the LAP lands and continues along Ballyfermot Road along the northern boundary of the LAP lands. From the trunk main there is a 300mm asbestos main spur that branches off into the LAP lands west of Wheatfield and Cloverhill prisons, underneath Cloverhill road to serve the LAP lands.
In addition to the above, there is a 300mm trunk main traversing the M50 at Cloverhill Road, which connects to the 300mm asbestos main spur at the Cloverhill Road roundabout. From here a 450mm ductile iron main branches off and runs south along Park West Avenue, exiting the LAP lands at the southern boundary.
Irish Water have confirmed that there is a good water supply network in the area however some of the existing older watermains and infrastructure may need upgrading.
There are a number of high voltage power lines and Pylons traversing the LAP lands, both overhead power lines and underground power lines. In addition, there is a network of medium and low voltage power lines which service the developed residential areas and industrial/business areas. The number of high voltage power lines and pylons located both in Park West and Cherry Orchard in close proximity to the M50 and also the Barnville area are a potential constraint on the development potential of the LAP lands.
In order to maximise the development potential of the lands within the LAP area a number of these overhead power lines and Pylons will require undergrounding of these services and additional electrical infrastructure such as transformer/substation may be required.
The LAP is well served in terms of gas supply, the network is well developed however additional infrastructure will be required in order to service the development lands in the area. Gas Networks Ireland has indicated that the Park West area is primarily served by a medium pressure distribution system, while the Cherry Orchard residential area is served by a low pressure distribution system.
Future development of the area will likely require provision of a low pressure distribution main in the Park West area in order to serve any future residential development in the area within the appropriate pressure regulation.
A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) for the city was prepared as part of the Dublin City 2016-2022 Development Plan. The composite flood map, for river and coastal flooding in Appendix 7 of the City Development Plan identifies the LAP area as being located within “flood zone C” where all forms of development are generally acceptable. OPW historical information shows no record of a flood event in the LAP area. As part of the preparation of the LAP, a Flood Risk Assessment accompanies the LAP (see Appendix).
Prior to developing the Local Area Plan, a non-statutory “Issues Paper” was published in February 2018 to allow members of the public to voice their opinions and concerns as to what the new plan should contain. A range of stakeholders including Councillors, TD’s, prescribed bodies, local community groups and organisations, social enterprises, schools and sports clubs were notified of the proposal to prepare a new Local Area Plan and were invited to make submissions.
Key themes identified during the Public Consultation to be considered during the formulation of the Local Area Plan included:
Having regard to the above analysis and taking into account the submissions from the public consultation received during the Issues Paper stage there are a number of key themes and challenges for the LAP to address:-