Residents of Old Dawson’s Demesne are assessing their options this week after Louth County Council’s decision to grant conditional planning permission for the completion of the Castleguard Manor estate – which includes pedestrian access linking the new 100+ house estate to the century old lane.
Locals on the cul-de-sac have have been fighting to prevent a pedestrian access pathway being opened between the two areas. The decision to grant planning permission – albeit conditional – will come as a blow to residents of Old Dawson’s who have fought and lobbied extensively for the local authority to reverse the decision to allow a public access walkway linking the new estate with the 105-year-old old cul-de-sac.
UPDATE: Work on the new access way began this week, as pictured below.
The completion of Castleguard Manor will include 70 homes with 26 four bedroom semi detached houses, 28 three bed semi detached homes, 3 three bed detached unit, three terrace blocks with a mixture of seven two bedroom units and six three bedroom units. They are in addition to the 29 homes already built. Louth County Council say those homes will be ready to occupy by the end of September.
Residents are set to meet with an Independent planning engineer who they hope will advise on the best possible approach to take going forward. The next step for residents will be to appeal to An Bord Pleanala, should they feel an appeal is worth undertaking.
Locals on the lane held out little hope that Louth County Council would produce a u-turn on their insistence that a walkway should link the two areas but there remains hope that An Bord Pleanala could rule in their favour. Residents have been told they have four weeks form the planning decision – last Friday, September 15th – to lodge their objections to the ruling with the planning board. Construction cannot begin on the remainder of the houses until a final ruling on any appeals has been made.
“All locals councillors and TDs were 100% behind us. The decision didn’t shock or surprise me at all, personally,” resident Jenny Burke told ThisIsArdee.ie today. Residents remain angered by the council’s insistence that there should be pedestrian access – without offering any safety assessment to deal with the increased pedestrian traffic.
“They have suggested nothing for safety,” Burke said. “We live on the lane – it’s not a road, it’s a lane. To us this is personal but we need an independent perspective. I think we’d be more confident in ABP than Louth CoCo. We can’t sit back on it. Watch this space.”
The lane that links Old Dawson’s Demesne to Campbell’s Park and new Dawsons is so narrow in parts that only one car can pass at any one time. There are no footpaths on the lane nor is there street lighting. Locals on Old Dawson’s say encouraging increased pedestrian capacity on the lane will put residents and those walking on the lane at risk. It is expected that the pedestrian usage on the lane will increase by 300% if the current plans go ahead.
A number of submissions and objections – all from residents on or near to Old Dawson’s (and Dawsons Demesne/Campbells Park Residents Association) – were made against the application for completion permission. Louth County Council are on the record saying that the pedestrian access promotes “sustainable communities”.