A €2 million revamp of Lucan village in west Dublin, which would see better provision for pedestrians and cyclists with the loss of 11 car parking spaces, has been described as "shameful" and "a disgrace" by opponents of the scheme.
South Dublin County Council plans to redevelop the centre of the historic village, with electricity and phone cables being diverted underground and a new "shared space" for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers being created beside the village green.
Almost 300 submissions have been made on the plans, and while several have welcomed the scheme, most are emphatically opposed, claiming it would “destroy” local business, deny access to medical services, increase anti-social behaviour, create a “pedestrian wasteland” and turn the village into a “mini Temple Bar”.
The work would involve the reconfiguration of the under-utilised park at the southern end of the village to create a green with an “amphitheatre-style space” and bandstand.
Main Street, to the west of the green, would be resurfaced and 37 existing car parking spaces would be removed, with the provision of 16 new spaces on the street, including three disability spaces, and another 10 spaces within 100 metres, the council said.
A leaflet circulated locally by Lucan Village Business Group urging people to lodge submissions claims the council plans to “remove up to 60 parking spaces” from Main Street. “This will destroy businesses in the village and deny patients access to essential medical services.”
The vast majority of submissions on the plans objected to the removal of parking, with many citing a difficulty in attending a doctor’s surgery and businesses in the village.
Some claimed there was a need to drive in Lucan because “urban sprawl” meant many estates were not within walking distance from the village.
Another said traffic congestion was “non-existent” in Lucan so there was no need for change and it was suggested the proposal “will deface the village with cycle lanes”.
A number raised concerns of “anti-social behaviour” if “congregating in the village is encouraged”.
Several said tourists were being prioritised over locals. “We do not want a dead village that tourists like to walk around; a kind of Glasnevin Cemetery attraction.”
Another said: “Please reconsider this plan for the Disneyfication of the village and prioritise the people who live here.”
The suggestion was made that “non-Lucan” members of the council were trying to dictate to locals. One submission, written in block capitals, read: “Please do not destroy the heart of our village by making it a pedestrian wasteland.”
Several submissions in support of the proposal said it would make the village more attractive and safer for walking and cycling, and would encourage more people to use local businesses. A number suggested more of the new parking spaces could be reserved for people with mobility issues to accommodate those concerned about accessing medical facilities.
Local Labour councillor Joanna Tuffy said she was concerned people were making submissions based on misinformation.
“I think this plan will make the village safer and more accessible, but the most important thing is that people know what’s in the plan: this is not pedestrianisation, there are no restrictions on traffic, and a net loss of just 11 parking spaces.”
Lucan Village Business Group said it was unable to provide a spokesperson this week. A council official said it had held meetings with stakeholders which were attended by representatives of the business group.
Submissions can be made on the plan until March 3rd.