Proposal Permission for a 527m squared two storey restaurant with a drive thru and service point, removal of existing signage also incorporating hard and soft landscaping, new access and egress points, local foul and surface water connections, reconfiguration of Barnageeragh Road markings to facilitate right turns into the site, designated parking within the Skerries Point development, proposed daily opening hours of 6:30am to 11:30pm and all associated site works necessary to facilitate the development.
I wish to object to the above proposal on three grounds;
(1) it is contrary to L.C. Local Centre zoning,
(2) it is too close to local schools contravening a Fingal County Council Objective and;
(3) Traffic Concerns
(1) Contrary to L.C. Local Centre zoning
The Skerries Point retail area is in an area zoned L.C. Local Centre. The vision for the Local Centre zone is;
Provide a mix of local community and commercial facilities for the existing and developing
communities of the County. The aim is to ensure local centres contain a range of community, recreational and retail facilities, including medical/ dental surgeries and childcare facilities, at a scale to cater for both existing residential development and zoned undeveloped lands, as appropriate, at locations which minimise the need for use of the private car and encourage pedestrians, cyclists and the use of public transport. The development will strengthen local retail provision in accordance with the County Retail Strategy.
My belief is that the provision of a drive thru restaurant at this site is contrary to the objectives of Local Centre Zoning for the following reason.
This proposal is not within the scale for a local centre. A large two storey restaurant is more suited to a town centre zoning. The drive thru element of the proposal is a statement by the developer that this restaurant is designed to appeal to a wider population and customer base than just the local population, for whom Skerries Point is designed to serve. There is already a fast food option at this location which is to scale for a local centre. The supermarket also caters for some take away and deli options. There is no need for further take away food options at this site.
2. Objective DMS 108 – Proximity to Schools
Objective DMS 108 of the Fingal County Council Development Plan 2017 – 2023 relates to the location of fast food restaurants close to schools;
The objective states ‘Give careful consideration to the appropriateness and location of fast food outlets in the vicinity of schools and, where considered appropriate, to restrict the opening of new fast food/takeaway outlets in close proximity to schools so as to protect the health and wellbeing of school-going children”
I am requesting the Council take cognisance of its own stated objective DMS 108 when considering this proposal as I believe the proposal to be contrary to same. There is a Montessori school immediately adjacent to the site and there is a primary school within 400 metres and within a site line of the proposed development. Fingal has a great number of take away and fast food outlets already. The focus of the Council’s strategy should be about promoting other forms of business and shop fronts in our towns and village centres and particularly in Local Centres.
This proposal before the Council is not just any take away but the proposal is for a branch of a global corporation which is supported by multi million euro marketing strategies designed to target young people.
As referenced above, this restaurant is designed to attract outside customers, by car, to this site. The only road to access this site is on the Townparks distributor road which intersects with Dublin Road to the south and the coast road to the north. The junction with the Dublin Road is an acknowledged traffic problem spot and Fingal County Council traffic officials have stated in area committee meetings that there is no solution available to resolve this problem. Attracting more traffic through this junction will only add to this problem junction.
The road surface on the Townparks distributor road is an unsuitable road surface which is very noisy. Residents in Townparks, Shalloch Hil, Newtownparks, Selskar and Kelly’s Bay have to tolerate this ongoing problem. Again, attracting further traffic along this road will only add to this problem.
A further issue on the Townparks distributor road which needs to be referenced is the unsuitable positioning of a bottle bank which causes unsafe traffic conditions for users and pedestrians. Further traffic on this road will lead to increased danger at this site.
No further major development should take place along this stretch of road until the above safety concerns are resolved.