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Given that SHDs are as rampant around here right now as STDs were at Cabana’s in the ’80s, it’s perhaps surprising that Wednesday’s Simon Harris-led meeting over Delgany’s proposed 232-house development was free from expletives.

The tone was more ‘How do we work with this?’ than ‘How do we stop this?’, many accepting, it seems, the arrival of yet more houses in one of the hottest location, location, locations in the country as inevitable.

That development at the old Carmelite monastery grounds is part of 2016’s Strategic Housing Development act, meaning planning applications for housing developments of more than 100 residential units and 200-plus student bed spaces can bypass local county planning authorities and go straight to An Bord Pleanála.

This Delgany application comes pretty hot on the heels of other developments at various stages of completion or application around here, including (deep breath) Ashcroft, Richview/Gorteen Way, The Orchard, Eastmount, Churchlands, Glenhoren C, Farrankelly, Marina Village, Seagreen, Waverly, Delgany Close, Melwood and Ronan O’Caoimh’s 99-house Chapel Road development, plus those 41 social units alongside the Burnaby Mills’ 166 houses at Charlesland. And then there’s the 50 or 60 houses planned for the burnt-out Style Bawn House in Delgany.

Which totals somewhere in the region of 2,000 houses. Which means that Dooley fecker was right.

And now, Cairn – who have been extremely busy up in Charlesland and Farrankelly, of course – have drawn up plans for a 600-house Coolagad development pretty much surrounding Temple Carrig School up in Blacklion. When we got in touch with Cairn to find out more, their marketing and communications manager, Sarah Glavey, informed us that, ‘Blacklion is an exciting site and we hope to proceed with a planning application in late 2021. As I’m sure you will appreciate, we are unable to comment further at such an early stage‘.

It’s a development that will, most likely, go through that SHD process, whilst Cairn have struck up quite a relationship with all the relevant authorities. They’ve thrown a few shekels into this year’s Christmas Lights fund, and they’re currently seeing who will blink first when it comes to the buying of their Charlesland plot zoned educational and earmarked for Greystones Community College.

Which all makes Cllr Derek Mitchell’s presentation during Wednesday night’s online meeting all the more fascinating. According to Derek, we may have already reached our official capacity when it comes to new houses around here

We asked the man himself to explain.

In 2019, the Eastern And Midland Regional Assembly adopted population targets for Wicklow to reflect national guidelines of 170,000 for 2031. The current zoning far exceeds this figure and reductions in zoned land will be required. T

The Wicklow County Development Plan is being prepared and a report of June 2020 details the changes needed to conform to national and regional population guidelines. This was accepted by councillors. The 2019 EMRA plan also changed Greystones/Delgany from a ‘growth’ town to a ‘self-sustaining town’ to allow infrastructure to catch up.

In addition, the number of people per house in 2028 was assumed to be 2.19 in the last county plan and, as shown in the last census, this was very wrong. It has now been assumed to be 2.6 in 2031. Consequently, many less houses are needed to house the same number of people. I had proposed that the higher figure would be used in 2015 but this was voted down, with only Fine Gael councillors supporting that. That would have resulted in less zoning.

I also proposed that no permissions would be granted until the Delgany to Blacklion road was complete, but that was also defeated.

The plot thickens. With more and more houses.

You can find out more about the new Delgany development here, and join a live repeat of Wednesday’s meeting this Sunday, 8pm, by emailing aliceodonnell6@gmail.com.

In the meantime, head out to the nearest bit of grass you can find, and give it a firm, lasting hug.

3 Comments

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  1. Hugh says:

    Write to your councilors if you want to see something done, its like the only avenue.

  2. Joe says:

    No more green just houses and no infrastructure. Where is the road network it take hours to come home from city

  3. Paul says:

    Comments are open…