Please read below my submission on Blackrock Local Area Plan.
Pre-draft Consultation Submission on Blackrock Local Area Plan
As the local elected representative for the Dun Laoghaire constituency, it is with great pleasure that I welcome the start of the Local Area Plan process for Blackrock town. This offers an invaluable opportunity for the communities of Blackrock to contribute by providing valuable input that will positively shape the future of our town.
Below are the main issues I feel should be given strong consideration in the Local Area Plan:
- Although it is a seaside town, one would not notice this upon first arrival. Our prime location needs to be better highlighted.
- Access to the seashore is restricted by the railway line. If the current pedestrian bridge is improved, perhaps people will be more incentivised to avail of our prime coastal location.
- The re-development of both the Frascati and Blackrock Shopping Centre sites would bring a welcome boost to both local consumers and retailers.
- Re-establish the provision of S2S in as far as possible.
- Bicycles for rent could also be made available around the Dart station, allowing people to cycle along the coastline and enjoy the sea view.
- Shop front design and signage could be improved in the town.
- The Main Street could be more welcoming and vibrant if more trees and flowers were included.
- Substandard quality of the public areas on Main Street, Bath Place, Georges Street and Rock Hill, in particular the condition of the pathways, kerbing and street surfaces.
- Current lack of appealing outdoor meeting space that could be used for social gatherings or markets. Current market area needs to be improved.
- Put unsightly electrical cables beyond Main Street underground.
- Blackrock could become more village like by encouraging more artisan, specialist local shops and boutiques.
- Improvement of public parking provision. Current Council car parks are quite badly maintained. A possible alternative would be the construction of a multi storey car park in the town.
- Need incentives to encourage landlords to short term rent idle retail units to start-up companies or established businesses looking to set up in Blackrock
- Consider new traffic plan for part of the main street that was converted many years ago to a one way street. The current system negatively affects retail businesses along this route. If this route was re-opened it would act also as an alternative route option for commuters to Dun Laoghaire. This would ease traffic on the Rock bypass for those wanting to use the coast road to get to Dun Laoghaire and at the same time drive more people into Blackrock and increase levels of trade
- Improvement of Blackrock by-pass so it is more aesthetically pleasing, i.e. planting.
- Re-development of former Blackrock Baths site in preparation of the planned welcome urban beach at this location.
- Explore possibility of opening section of Blackrock Park nearest the town at Rockhill. This would make the Park more visible and accessible to the town as was outlined in the Blackrock Park Master Plan.
- The vibrancy of the town would be ensured if a renewed effort to support a ‘living over the shop’ scheme was included in the LAP.
- Increased emphasis is needed on ensuring that the large and vital number of office blocks and other office accommodation is maintained. These offices provide jobs and support local businesses.
- There is currently no delineation between the business areas and the resident’s homes in zoned E lands in Brookfield Terrace. These need to be clearly separated.
- There is an opportunity for the Council to create a wider walkway between the station and Blackrock Park by acquiring some of the land from the Deepwell on Rockhill property that abuts the laneway between the DART station and Blackrock Park.
- Consider deleting QBC as shown on the map for Rockhill and Main Street.
- Building height restrictions should be included in the LAP for future developments.
- Recent flooding incidents in the town have illustrated how vulnerable the town can become to such weather problems. Defence measures should be considered and incorporated into any plans drawn up for future development.
- A new street furniture scheme should be included in the plan for the town centre.
- Free Wi-Fi in the town would be a very modern and advantageous feature for the town. It would improve both the locals and tourists experience of Blackrock.
- The history and culture of the town has and should continue to play an important role in shaping and developing the town’s image and features. They should be incorporated in some way into the plan.
- It would be worthwhile including the existing residential areas of Maretimo/Newtown Avenue as far as Seapoint Avenue in the LAP area as these are some of the nearest residents to the town centre.
- I would welcome proposals on how to increase the number of on street parking spaces in the town.
- Consideration should be given to redesign and improve the road design in the section of the Blackrock by pass from its junction with George’s Avenue to the junction with Carysfort Avenue.
- Increase cycle parking around the town.
I trust these suggestions will be given strong consideration. I look forward to the next stage of the Local Area Plan process.
Mary Mitchell O’Connor