Update from Bray Municipal District Meeting Tuesday 4th April 2023
Another busy Bray MD meeting was held on Tuesday evening, please see details below of some of the highlights. This is an overview only and is not a formal record of all items covered but I hope that it will provide some insight into what is going on in the District.
Outdoor Performance Space
You may recall that some time back Bray MD officials were asked to submit a proposal for the creation of an outdoor performance space. They were successful in securing €250,000 towards the proposal and began to examine what this space could look like.
The Council focused on the area in front of the DART crossing tracks, beside Butler & Barry as this was an area identified by previously Councillors as being underdeveloped. They spoke with residents, businesses, The County Arts Office and local artists to look at a number of options. It has proved difficult to get something that all agreed with. Those who would use the space wanted an area that provided shelter from the elements to an extent that it would be quite closed in, local community wanted something that would be open and not interfere with the beauty of the area. The matter was given huge consideration and many hours looking at different alternatives.
At Tuesdays meeting the officials advised that no option could be found that would adequately meet the requirements of all stakeholders. The importance of our seafront is such that only something that would add exceptional value to the area could be considered, as such the project will not proceed.
I fully commend the Council officials for going through this process. Two often the Bray District has lost out on possible new developments and projects because an idea has been shouted down. In this case an idea was examined fully and despite the availability of funding it was decided not to proceed as this was the best option for the area. I hope that the officials will continue this trend, and fully investigate every opportunity for our area and make informed decisions based on proper consultation.
Dublin Array Offshore Windfarm
We received a presentation from the Dublin Array Offshore Windfarm. It has been two and a half years since they last presented to us which is an indication of how long the process of developing a wind farm takes.
There are many windfarms planned off the East Coast of Ireland and as such it can be difficult to follow who is who, an easy way to distinguish one from another is whether or not they have achieved Maritime Area Consent, those that have yet to receive this are speculative and may very well proceed to the end of their plans but at the moment there is nothing set in stone.
The Dublin Array Offshore Windfarm staff presented the process been taken to date. Due to the ongoing development in this area the number of actual turbines expected of the coast of Bray in their plans have reduced from over 140 to between 30 to 50. As technology has advanced there is a reduced need for the number of turbines required. They expect to submit their planning application in December 2023.
Consultation continues to be welcome even tough the actual consultation period has now finished. If you wish to look to get further information you can visit www.dublinarray.com
Public Realm Works
An update on Public Realm works were given as follows.
ORIS Projects - Trail works at the Kilmacanogue Marsh that were to be completed last year are to resume in the next few weeks under direct labour. A ramped path with an entrance opposite the car park is to be constructed. Funding has been allocated for trail development and conservation to the main Sugarloaf access at the Red Lane car park. Part 8 drawings have been prepared to provide car park improvements with coach parking and a turn-around facility. CCSD will be completing the preparation of the Part 8 documents.
Seafront Toilets - Refurbishment of the lady’s toilets at the aquarium building is complete and the toilets have reopened to the public.
Raheen Public Park - A Part 8 public consultation was published on the 15th of March with a closing date for submissions on the 27th of April. A draft Conservation Management Plan has been prepared for Bray Head. A pathfinder visit is being planned in April between the Ecology Consultant and various stakeholders to visit specific sites and discuss recommended management options.
Bray Harbour Improvements - An information day and presentation of the recommendations of the feasibility study took place in December. The submissions following the public engagements have been assembled for inclusion with the tender documents for the appointment of consultants for the detailed design, planning and construction stage of the project. A presentation was made to the department responsible for URDF funding for the project and approval is awaited to progress to tendering for consultants.
Bogmeadow Playground Enniskerry - Capital funding has been approved from the council’s Development Contribution Scheme along with discretionary funding for developing the playground. Detailed design and preparation of specifications for both the site development works that deals with the site preparation, retaining walls and alterations to infrastructure and for the supply and installation of the play equipment is progressing.
Ballywaltrim Recreational Field Masterplan - A surveyor has been engaged to carry out a topographical survey of the site. This will aid in the appraisal of options for the final configuration of pitches, detailed design, and costing.
Skateboard Park - The Council has entered into discussions with the successful tenderer, Garden Escapes Limited, with a view to finalising the design of the Skatepark. Once complete it will proceed to Part 8 Statutory Public consultation.
Enniskerry EV Charger - Final connection date awaited from ESB networks.
A housing report was given as follows.
Cedar Court - Construction is ongoing with the units due for completion in Q2 of 2023.
Parnell Road (Central Garage site) - Tuath have submitted the revised CAS application and it is currently being assessed. The Department had some queries which have been responded to.
Kilbride Lodge and Sutton Villas - All land registration issues have now been resolved. Respond are in the process of appointing a project manager.
Rehills Lands - The Department and NDFA have appointed consultants for the scheme, and they have started looking at the sites.
Fassaroe - The Part 8 report has been approved and we finalising the design team.
Southern Cross Road - A development of 208 houses and apartments, including 20 Part V units, is in the process of being purchased for social housing as a turnkey by Cooperative Housing Ireland. The first units have been delivered. The remaining units should be ready for occupation in the next few weeks.
I raised concerns with the officials that some Part 8 proposals, some of which were approved prior to me becoming a Councillor, have yet to have commenced, given the current housing situation that this is not acceptable. A full report on all part 8 projects is to be given at the next meeting. I also sought clarity on the units on the Southern Cross, it was confirmed that phase 2, which includes 80 apartments are to go out to offer and are expected to be occupied in late June / early July which is positive news as another 80 families / individuals will be offered a home off our housing list.
The officials also confirm that 14 vacant properties in Bray District are now completed and will go out to offer and be filled, 16 additional properties have had works tendered for which are expected to be completed in the coming weeks and 5 more are ready to go out for tender. This is positive news, which will bring vacant homes in the district back into use.
Community Recognition Fund
Finally, there was incredibly positive news in that the news on applications under the Community Development Fund were confirmed. I am thrilled to see that the Old Court House on the Boghall Rd., which I have been actively working on for many many months in the background has received €350,000 to bring the building up to standard. This is the next step in what has been a lengthy process which first involved getting the building transferred from the Court Service over to Wicklow County Council and now brought into a fit state. My sincere thanks to officials in the Council and the team of community activist in the area for collaborating with me on this. I am also thrilled to see the team at the Holy Redeemer Church received €150,000 which will go towards the refurbishment of the Little Flower Hall, again a much-used community facility that needs refurbishment and upgrade. Again, community activist in the Holy Redeemer have done huge work to get the application prepared the standard required and are well deserving of the funding input.
If you require any additional information, as always please do not hesitate to get in touch.