Impact of Carrickmines plan on road network concerns State bodies

Proposed €75m retail development includes indoor sky-diving arena, cinemas and cafes

M50 traffic. Photograph: Alan Betson

M50 traffic. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Two State agencies responsible for national transport and infrastructure have expressed concerns about a proposed retail development at Carrickmines in south Dublin on the grounds that it would impact on the operation and safety of the roads network, including the nearby M50.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the National Transport Authority (NTA) have made submissions to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in recent days after the developer supplied additional information on the proposal in October.

The €75 million plan, from one of the State’s largest property vehicles, Iput, covers land in an undeveloped area of Carrickmines retail park bordering Ballyogan Road, adjacent to junction 15 of the M50.

The planning application for a “neighbourhood centre” includes “an indoor sky-diving arena”.

Commercial elements of the new neighbourhood would include retail, restaurants and cafes, a seven-screen cinema, a creche, office space, car showrooms, a medical centre, two supermarkets – with off-licence facilities – and a linear park.

In a submission to the local authority on November 15th, TII said it was “not convinced that the further information documentation submitted by the applicant addresses official national policy in relation to control of development on/affecting national roads”.

Unsustainable

It noted that the NTA’s transport strategy for the greater Dublin area, 2016-2035, identifies that the trend for increasing traffic on the M50 is “unsustainable”.

TII said the site is adjacent to “the most heavily trafficked road corridor in the country”.

Its submission noted that additional traffic volumes likely to be generated by development at the location “would further exacerbate the operational safety and efficiency of the M50 corridor and undermine the benefits of public investment in same”.

“The M50 corridor is now at a stage where relatively minor increases in traffic volumes can result in significant impacts in terms of traffic congestion. It is critical, in TII’s opinion, and in accordance with official policy objectives, that the strategic function of the national road infrastructure is safeguarded and managed through appropriate development planning and management,” it said.

Recent annual traffic growth on the M50 at Carrickmines was recorded as 4.9 per cent between 2014 and 2015, 4.4 per cent between 2015 and 2016, 2 per cent between 2016 and 2017.

“The significant traffic volumes alongside considerable growth in recent years has had an impact upon journey times and journey time reliability all along the M50 corridor, including along the section through Carrickmines,” TII said.

“In its current form, TII considers that the proposed development would generate a high level of car dependency which will likely present itself on the nearby national road network.”

In a submission to the council on November 15th, the NTA stated that the proposed development, with about 49,010sq m of “trip-attracting” land uses and about 1,150 parking spaces is “excessive” for the local neighbourhood. It said a reduction in parking should be a stated condition of any subsequent grant of permission.

Concerns expressed by local people in objections sent to the council in April, included one noting that deer live in the area.

“Youths in the area have noted that the deers have been trapped in by the security boarding,” one letter stated.