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Recent Development Timeline

2005

  • Poppintree Neighbourhood Centre opens
  • Ceannt Tower demolished
  • McDermott Tower demolished by implosion
  • CAFTA’s Parenting Programme starts
  • New Leisure Centre completed
  • Changes in retail planning guidelines facilitate IKEA coming to Ballymun
  • Emerald Housing wins national award for its design and specification
  • Coultry Neighbourhood Centre opens
  • McDonagh Tower demolished by implosion
  • Phase 3 housing starts on site
  • Fingal County Council adopts the North Ballymun (M50 Lands) Local Area Plan
  • 575 new private homes completed in Ballymun
  • 905 new homes completed under the BRL Housing Programme

2006

  • HSE District Headquarters and Primary Health Care Centre opens in the Civic Centre
  • Coultry Park opens
  • Coultry Forum Office opens
  • Rediscovery Centre Furniture Recycling Project launched
  • Ballymun Plaza Hotel opens for business
  • Ballymun wins three National Tidy Towns Awards
  • Railway Procurement Agency officially announce Metro for Ballymun
  • The Horizons Building, a community-based addiction services centre, opens
  • CAFTA’s Children’s Regeneration Programme starts
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded community composting project begins
  • Ballymun gains Fairtrade Town status – the first in Dublin
  • 684 new private homes completed in Ballymun
  • 1,064 new homes completed under the BRL Housing Programme

2007

  • Balcurris Park opens
  • Safer Ballymun, a Community Safety Strategy, launched
  • Aisling After-School Project Evaluation Report launched
  • Ballymun wins two Tidy Towns Awards,
  • Temporary Ballymun Plaza opens
  • axis launches ‘SPARK’, a major three-year arts in education programme, which aims to engage with over 500 children annually
  • Connolly Tower demolished
  • Planning permission granted for IKEA
  • Work commences on Ballymun United Football Club’s new facilities
  • Shangan Neighbourhood Centre opens
  • Railway Procurement Agency announces that the Metro will run underground through Ballymun
  • One flat block demolished
  • 887 new private homes completed in Ballymun
  • 1,305 new homes completed under the BRL Housing Programme
  • 157 children complete CAFTA’s Children’s Regeneration Programme
  • 800 residents complete CAFTA’s Housing Transition Programme
  • Coultry Green opens

2008

  • Clarke Tower demolished
  • DCU in the Community opens in Shangan Neighbourhood Centre
  • IKEA starts construction
  • Garda Station completed
  • Shangan Forum Office opens
  • M50 Lands Masterplan launched
  • Social Welfare Office completed
  • Sillogue Neighbourhood Centre opens
  • Innovative, environmental and sustainable housing projects launched as part of Phase 4 housing
  • Sillogue/Sandyhill Forum Office opens
  • axis presents a major digital media project which engages with over 120 young people in Ballymun schools and youth groups
  • Phase 4 housing starts on site
  • North Poppintree Community Centre opens
  • Preliminary design of Rediscovery Centre launched
  • New Poppintree Forum Office opens
  • Cluid Housing Association’s Sheltered Housing opens
  • Installation of Kevin Atherton’s multi-media and stainless steel sculpture in Balcurris Park
  • Early Education Centre opens in Poppintree Community Centre
  • St Michael’s House opens
  • Whiteacre Park opens
  • 346 Ballymun students graduate from the National College of Ireland
  • 1,642 new homes completed under the BRL Housing Programme

Future Development

  • IKEA opening brings 500 new jobs to Ballymun
  • Ballymun United Football Club’s new facilities open
  • Aisling Project’s new crèche and after-school facility opens in Balcurris
  • Final phase of housing starts, incorporating further upgrade in building
  • BRL announces possible axis extension, contemporary art gallery and artist’s studios
  • Ballymun Residential Project for Boys opens
  • Ballymun Residential Project for Girls opens
  • Construction on Metro starts
  • Rediscovery Centre opens in M50 Lands
  • The first DCU in the Community students graduate
  • 2,271 new homes completed under the BRL Housing Programme
  • Plunkett Tower, the last Ballymun tower, demolished
  • Last family moves out of the flats
  • Demolition completed
  • Balcurris/Balbutcher Forum Office opens
  • Ballymun East Community Centre opens
  • Poppintree Park completed
  • 3,350 private homes completed in Ballymun
  • Town Centre, Ballymun’s new shopping centre, developed
  • First Metro through Ballymun
Posted by Reflecting City Team on Friday, December 19, 2008
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M50 Lands LAP

The other main location for economic development, identified in the Masterplan, was the M50 lands comprising approximately 40 hectares of underdeveloped land adjacent to the M50. Although located within the Fingal County Council area, this land was retained in City Council ownership as Ballymun’s natural hinterland. Following the alteration to the Retail Planning Guidelines which facilitated the location of a major retail outlet (over 6,000m2) in the State, a Local Area Plan, (accompanied by a Strategic Environmental Assessment) was drawn up and adopted by Fingal County Council.

This Local Area Plan has, as its primary objective, “To contribute to the social, economic and environmental regeneration of Ballymun by setting the framework for a sustainable and dynamic mixed use, employment-generating area in a high quality and attractive urban environment”.

It also made provision for a planning application by IKEA for its first store in the State. Planning permission was granted by An Bord Pleanála in June 2007 and work is now proceeding to deliver the infrastructure to secure its opening and its 500 jobs in 2009. IKEA is by no means the only development which will be accommodated on the lands and work is also advancing to finalise a Masterplan within the Local Area Plan framework to secure the development of a dynamic urban quarter which will bring added benefits to the Ballymun area in the form of not only jobs but destinations, services and quality residential development. Infrastructural developments including Metro North will determine the phasing of the development of these lands which will take place over the next 5 –15 years. Their significance in relation to Ballymun must, however, remain central to their development.

Posted by Reflecting City Team on Friday, December 19, 2008
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Masterplan 1998

The 1998 Masterplan, developed by the company in the months following the Ministerial
announcement, to deliver the regeneration of the area set out the following as its main aims:

Housing

  • Demolition of Tower Blocks and Spine Blocks and replacement with 2-storey, 3-storey and 4-storey housing
  • Recommendation for demolition of 4-storey walk-ups and replacement with conventional housing
  • Recommendation for funding / incentives for refurbishment of remaining 2-storey housing and improvement of services

Employment

  • Creation of job opportunities by zoning land for employment, leisure and retail in the Main Street and on the M50 corridor lands
  • Recommendation for provision of enterprise units within the communities

Education and Training

  • Improve the setting of the schools and promotion of better facilities
  • Promotion of employment opportunities from the regeneration process
  • Promotion of Ballymun for new third level and adult education programmes and facilities


Neighbourhood Identity

  • Making new road junctions and signposting each community
  • The creation and consolidation of 5 neighbourhoods – Shangan, Coultry, Balcurris, Poppintree and Sillougue/Sandyhill
  • Recommendation for provision of Neighbourhood Centres with shops, meeting rooms and improvement of community facilities
  • Provision of properly landscaped parks, greens, playgrounds and playing pitches

Town Centre

  • Removing the roundabout on Ballymun Road, traffic calming and prioritising the creation of a Main Street and traditional Town Centre
  • Provision for relocation of important public services in cluster of civic buildings on Main Street
  • Recommendation for improvement and extension of Shopping Centre
  • Incentives to attract additional private sector commercial / retail users to locate on Main Street
  • Strategy to make Ballymun a regional headquarters for North City Fringe
Posted by Reflecting City Team on Friday, December 19, 2008
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New Housing Plan

Design Objectives
One of the core urban design objectives in the Masterplan is to nurture a variety of design responses rather than uniformity to counteract the monotonous and bleak urban environment created by 1960s Ballymun, both in the multi storey and two storey developments. BRL has encouraged from the outset diversity in design by commissioning a wide range of Architectural Consultants and endeavours to provide not just replacement homes but homes within developments of distinct identity and character which are highly valued by Ballymun residents. This approach is being adopted in other large scale developments elsewhere. Given the success of this approach, it will be maintained to completion. The Housing Programme is being rolled out over 4 phases and is currently (2008) in Phase 4.

Space Standards
Floor area requirements applied to social housing schemes in Ballymun have from the outset been exceptional, in part because existing flat sizes are generous and must be replaced by an equivalent albeit appropriate to family size. DEHLG floor area requirements as set out in the 2007 Quality Homes for Sustainable Communities are now in line with the Masterplan standards and the recently published Dublin City Council apartment guidelines have exceeded them. BRL must now revise the design brief to accord with DCC requirements.

Green Agenda
The Masterplan set out a coherent policy on energy andthe environment and stated that it should be ԰rogressive and dynamic in response to an ever changing set of demands and targetsԮ Detailed specification standardswere set in excess of the Building Regulations including increased standards for insulation, energy efficient heating systems and other environmental measures. The imperative to address the effects of climate change has resulted in ambitious and evolving international and
national policy measures.

In response to Kyoto, Ireland produced a National Climate Change Strategy for 2007 to 2012. This includes a target of a 40% reduction in energy use in all buildings. BRL has responded to this ambition and produced amdesign strategy for new housing projects. The strategy employs simple, robust, passive conventional construction methods, proprietary products and proven systems and will achieve an ԁ3Ԡhome energy rating, giving an average 60% reduction in energy use and 45% reduction in carbon emissions per dwelling. This standard is high and in excess of Sustainable Energy Ireland House of Tomorrow programme, however, a detailed report on two projects being designed to this standard has shown that it can be delivered for 7% additional cost. The DEHLG has approved this strategy for implementation on initial Phase 4 social housing schemes with a view to rolling it out for the remainder of the housing programme.

Housing Programme
The social housing replacement programme will be realised on completion of Phase 4, comprising seven projects of 520 units total. These are at tender and design stage and will be complete by 2010.

The following table summarises the progress in new housing at July 2007:

Public Housing:

  • Complete: 1181
  • Onsite: 453
  • Tender / Pre-construction: 239
  • Design \ Planning: 415
  • Pre Design: 0

Private Housing:

  • Complete: 932
  • Onsite: 311
  • Tender / Pre-construction: 0
  • Design \ Planning:1,273
  • Pre Design: 1,337

Voluntary & Affordable Housing:

  • Complete:183
  • Onsite: 56
  • Tender / Pre-construction: 43
  • Design \ Planning: 9
  • Pre Design: 334

Tenure Diversity
An in-depth study of tenure diversity in the Ballymun area has been carried out. This acknowledges the extreme lack of diversity which existed in the area at the outset of the regeneration programme.Its sought to research international experiences, policies and conclusions to set the context for futurehousing policy and provision in the area and not only consisted of an accounting excercise. This isparticularly important in the context of Irish Government policy such as Delivering Homes Sustainable Communities: Statement on Housing Policy, February 2007 and the Planning and Development Acts which advocate more mixed tenure in areas of predominantly social housing. As of now the balancebetween owner occupation and local authority rented is 25% to 61%, (from 20% to 80% in 1997).

Additionally, private rented accommodation has been provided and the provisions of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2007 which seeks to restrict the payment of rent supplement in regeneration areas is to be welcomed to avoid a further concentration of ҳocial housingҠin this sector. The slow progress, however, in consolidating owner occupation in the area leads to the conclusion of the report which recommends that sites which remain after the rehousing of Ballymun residents, (i.e. after Phase 4) should be used to provide for private housing - including 20% affordable which can ultimately result in a balance of 44% public and 56% private, which though far short of nationalaverages is a considerable advance on the starting position in Ballymun.

Changing tenure patterns
Important in this approach, however, is the necessity to further develop a real and stable housing market in the area as evidenced in the Tenure Diversity Report. Parallel actions in the areas of social and environmental sustainability such as the Community Safety Strategy are also crucial in creating a successful place which will enable the area to attract and retain new residents. Sites which are being offered to the private market will be accompanied by design briefs which will insist on quality family type homes being developed in the area and the recently adopted Dublin City guidelines for apartment developments will provide further assistance in this regard. However, the briefs will also require the highest standards of design in the public realm and high environmental performance standards to ensure that Ballymun can more fully build on its locational advantages within the M50 and on a Metro line.

Posted by Reflecting City Team on Thursday, September 18, 2008
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Ballymun Masterplan Background

Ballymun was built between 1966 and 1969 by the National Building Agency which was set up specifically for the task. The estate comprised seven 15-storey towers, nineteen 8-storey spine or deck access blocks, ten 4-storey walk-ups and 400 single family houses. In 1966 the first tenants moved in, frequently from slum clearance areas or poor inner city terraced housing. The estate was ultra-modern with 73 lifts, a district heating system and nearly 500 acres of open grass areas.

In the 1970s 1,400 houses were added to Dublin City Council's housing stock in Ballymun. From the beginning the management of the estate was a problem. Very soon this experiment with modernity experienced problems including an above average turnover and vacancy rate. Flats could not be purchased and soon were seen as an inferior option for tenants who could purchase houses and receive generous discounts off the purchase price. In addition the Government pursued a policy of providing incentives to those vacating local authority dwellings in an effort to increase the number of units available to those on housing waiting lists. For all these reasons by 1985 the turnover had reached crisis proportions.

In 1984 Dublin City Council set up a Special Committee to monitor and implement proposals to tackle the problems being experienced in Ballymun. Dublin City Council adopted a radical new management approach and in 1985 it set up a local office in Ballymun working directly with tenants, this included a role for tenants in screening applicants to bring about a more balanced community. The success of the first initiatives in tenant involvement brought about new interest in tenant associations and by 1987 there were 32 officially recognised tenants associations. The Ballymun Community Coalition set up a special Task Force to develop a housing plan for Ballymun. The Task Force consisted of members of the local community, the Area Health Board and elected members of government. 

In the early 1990s major remedial works were carried out by the state, to create an atmosphere of security and to give individual tenants control over access to their homes, while improving the visible appearance and environment of the blocks. An independent evaluation report was conducted to assess the success of this work and in 1994 Dublin City Council responded to the evaluation report by proposing the demolition of 560 units in six of the seven tower blocks and their replacement with alternative housing for residents.

In March 1997 the Government announced that it was setting aside 228.5 million for the regeneration of Ballymun including the demolition of all the 15 and 8 storey blocks. Dublin City Council formed a company, limited by guarantee - Ballymun Regeneration Ltd., to work with the community to develop and implement a Masterplan for Ballymun. Ciarán Murray was appointed as Managing Director and a voluntary Board of Directors was established. This board comprises local councillors, tenants, and representatives from the Housing Task Force and Ballymun Partnership, community representatives, Health Board, private sector, gardaí, local authority and local womens' groups. The board meet once a month and works closely with the local community. The Ballymun Housing Task Force was appointed as the official liaison group for the project overall.

The Masterplan which was accompanied by an Integrated Area Plan was prepared and presented to Government on 31st March 1998. The aims and objectives of the Masterplan were welcomed by the local community, by Central Government and by Dublin City Council and implementation is well underway. The first demolitions took place in the summer of 2004.

As Ballymun's social problems had increased, so too, paradoxically did its community spirit. Today there are many voluntary and community organisations active in Ballymun and they are very involved in the regeneration process who want to make sure that the new town will contain all the facilities and programs that are needed.

Posted by Reflecting City Team on Wednesday, September 17, 2008
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