In recent weeks, councillors were given their first opportunity to change the pre-draft* development plan that was circulated at the start of the summer.
I put forward 11 amendments. Here is the list:
|Achievement of ‘favourable conservation status’ of habitats and species within SACs and SPAs as per the requirements and obligations of the Habitats Directive Council Directive 92/43/EEC and the Birds Directive 2009/147/EC, within the lifetime of this conservation plan.
|Add the following recommendation:
Seek to halt the degradation of Special Areas of Conservations (SACs) within the county by seeking to have them designated under a Special Amenity Area Order (SAAO), during the lifetime of this development plan.
|Add the following recommendation:
Support the establishment of an Expert Group to review the future impact of Dublin Airport development/expansion on neighbouring communities and to specifically explore the possibility of providing relocation opportunities for those most affected to areas with less airport impact, but which have community, sporting, and religious connections to the area impacted. The Expert Group will consider international best practice and present proposals consistent with NPF and the RSES and report back with actionable proposals within 12 months of the establishment of the new development plan.
|Add: promote reintroduction programmes
|Contribute, as practical, via this plan to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
|Develop a programme of ‘new homes in small towns and villages’ to give local communties access to serviced sites with approapriate infrastructure within existing settlements, in line with NPO 18b.
|Develop Heritage Animation Strategies for areas within the county that have under used heritage and cultural assets. Such strategies will seek to develop these heritage assests, package and promoted them as one tourism offering, support them through festivals/events, link them to local amenities and businesses and help ‘tell the story of the area’ in a way that promotes tourism and helps foster a sense of place.
|Identify and protect non-designated sites of local and high nature conservation value, and the management of features of the landscape which are of major importance for wild fauna and flora, in particular close to river systems, in accordance with Article 10 of the Habitats Directive.
|Mobility plans should seek to reduce reliance on car based travel and encourage more sustainable modes of transport over the lifetime of a development͘.
|Support the development of a wildlife hospital within the county for the protection of Fingal’s wildlife.
|Support the provision of bike rental (pedal and e-bike) across the County͘
There is a rationale to all of them that I will explain in coming posts.
A key point to understand is that at this point of the process only ‘strategic’ changes can be brought forward. This means that they have to apply to the entire county and can’t be area specific (the main exception here is motions relating to Dublin Airport, or its impacts).
These amendments will not be automatically be written into the new development plan, they will be brought forward as motions in the coming weeks which will need the majority support of other councillors to be included.
They need to be read in the context of the pre-draft plan itself because and the submissions that came forward from the public. The Green group of councillors read through the 500+ submissions and picked out the ones we supported but hadn’t made it to the pre-draft.
*Yes, ‘pre-draft’ – its a thing. We haven’t made it to the ‘draft’ yet which will come in December of this year.