Submission on School Plan

Thanks to all who turned out on Sunday and dropped by yesterday. Rathcoole Woodlands Supporters Submission with 70 signatures was delivered yesterday:-

With reference to: SD23A/0336

New primary school (Roll No. 20549P), including 20 classrooms, with a gross floor area of 3,449 sq.m over 3 storeys; The proposed development will also provide a no. multi-purpose hall and all ancillary teacher and pupil facilities; Vehicular, cycle, and pedestrian access to the site is proposed to the north-west of the school, with staff and visitor parking spaces; car and bus drop off and set down facilities and associated set down areas and accessible parking facilities; A secondary, future provision of pedestrian, vehicular and cycle access points are provided to the southern boundary of the site; The development will also include the provision of bicycle and scooter parking; external stores; Internal access roads, cycle and footpaths; hard and soft play areas including 2 ballcourts; piped infrastructure, connections and ducting; external plant area; landscaping and boundary treatments; green roofs, PV panels; 1 ESB substation; EV parking facilities; external courtyards and all hard and soft landscaping; ancillary ramps and stairs; lighting; signage; 3 attenuation tank; SUDs; 3 flagpoles; changes in level and all associated site development and excavation works above and below ground.

We, as per attached and signed, are very concerned with a recent planning application SD23A/0336.

The site subject of the application is in an environmentally sensitive area of ecological importance. It is adjacent to Rathcoole Woodlands and Rathcoole Park. Rathcoole Park has one annex I habitat and Rathcoole Woodlands contains three annex I protected habitats:

Rathcoole Woodlands Protected Habitats
• Priority Annex 1 habitat 91EO Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior
• Priority Annex 1 habitat 7220 Petrifying springs with tufa deposits
• Annex I habitat Hydrophilous tall herb communities 6430

Rathcoole Park Protected Habitat
• Annex 1 habitat 6510 Lowland hay meadow

These habitats are protected under the EU Habitats Directive and the Environmental Liability Directive. We consider that before a final decision is made, impact assessments are needed to determine likely impacts from this development on:
• Rathcoole Woodlands, an alluvial priority annex habitat
• Other protected habitats
• The hydrology, both above and below ground, that supports the water dependent habitats

These assessments must be based on robust scientific data. They must demonstrate with certainty that all protected habitats will not be permanently adversely affected at any stage of construction or upon completion or result in future adverse impacts due to increased footfall as a consequence of the closer proximity of people with better and increased access to the protected habitats.

This is also a gateway development. It is part the Council’s master plan for Rathcoole. It provides a public access road to lands further south to facilitate South Dublin County Council’s master plan for this area. This road will lead to rewilding lands some of which has been determined as priority annex alluvial woodland with no zone of protection determined. This puts the alluvial woodland in that area in a very vulnerable position. The cumulative impacts of this development and the Council’s master plan part needs to be determined.

The public access road is also intended to be a continuation of a future road from Mullaly’s Lane not subject of the current application, which will require the removal of both alluvial woodland and Hydrophilous herb habitat. This will lead to the permanent removal of habitat with likely high impacts on the remaining habitat. This is a consideration for the Council in its determinations.

Deer observed inside the school site