South Dublin residents and businesses appeal for road reopening
Edmondstown Road in Rathfarnham closed since last year following alleged illegal work
A community committee involving more than 30 businesses including pubs, Rathfarnham golf club, schools and residents associations, has written to the council seeking immediate action to reopen the road. Photograph: Getty Images
A group of south Dublin residents and businesses have said they are “extremely frustrated” with their local authority over the failure to fix a road closed almost six months ago following alleged illegal excavation work.
The Edmondstown Road, a scenic route leading to the Dublin mountains south of Rathfarnham, has been closed since November following its partial collapse.
South Dublin County Council is taking enforcement action against Ghandi Mallak, who it said was responsible for undertaking unauthorised work that destabilised the road.
The council has closed the road between the Merry Ploughboy pub and Tibradden Road – a distance of about 300m – forcing motorists to take a detour of more than 5km.
The council said Mr Mallak undertook a number of developments, including the alteration and excavation of rural lands immediately to the west of the road, and of the western bank of the Owendoher river. He was also responsible for the construction of internal roadways and paths on the lands, and the installation of a 17sq m metal container, including a septic tank, on the lands.
The lands are zoned for rural amenity and agricultural use, and the work was undertaken without planning permission, the council said.
The council last November instructed Mr Mallak to immediately stop development of the land. However, while it has undertaken emergency work to stop the collapse of the road, it expects Mr Mallak to reinstate the land using competent professionals. Failure to comply with the council’s enforcement order can result in a fine of up to €12.7 million or imprisonment.
A community committee, involving more than 30 businesses including the Merry Ploughboy and Johnnie Fox’s pubs, Rathfarnham golf club, schools and residents associations, has written to the council to seek immediate action to reopen the road.
“The closure of this section of the road has caused substantial financial loss and/or inconvenience and loss for the owners, customers, employees and service-users,” the letter said. “We now demand action that work to repair the road commence without any further delay or forbearance shown to the offending developer. The situation simply cannot be allowed to remain unresolved any longer.”
Local resident Glenn Daly said there was yet to be any visible progress in relation to reopening the road.
“The council has told us they have to follow due process, but a number of deadlines for work not only to start but to have been completed have been missed. We don’t even have a start date for the work.”
He said in addition to daily inconvenience for local residents and businesses, there were issues for emergency services accessing the area.
A spokeswoman for the council said it was continuing to pursue the matter though its planning enforcement section, and “further engagement” was due to take place with Mr Mallak within a week to “expedite the repair works”.
Mr Mallak did not respond to attempts by The Irish Times to contact him.