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Cllr Francis Timmons – Independent Voice

Newlands upgrade


Wednesday, May 18, 2016


MOTION: Councillor F. Timmons

“That this committe asks SDCC to provide a full report on why the level of screening at Newlands flyover is unsatisfactory and brief the members on what will be done to rectify this as a matter of urgency.”



The Conditions attached to An Bord Pleanala’s Approval for the Newlands Cross Upgrade Scheme dated 06 June 2008 included inter alia

  1. The proposed development shall be modified to have regard to the summary of all mitigation measures agreed by Kildare County Council at the oral hearing and specifically as enumerated in the document entitled “Newlands Cross Oral Hearing – Final Schedule of Commitments”, submitted at the oral hearing on 10th April 2008.

Reason: In order to define the mitigation measures to be carried out and to ensure that the development will not have significant adverse effects on the environment.

  1. (a) A continuous solid 1.8 metre high noise barrier (in place of a 1.5 metre barrier) shall be provided on the north side of the mainline carriageway to extend as shown in Figure 8.4 of the environmental impact statement.


(b) A 2.5m high solid stone (limestone) wall shall be provided along the rear boundaries of all the residential units (that wish to have such a wall) at No.’s 7 to 33 Newlands. These walls (for all those who wish to avail of this improved boundary treatment) shall be provided during the site preparatory stage of the proposed development (i.e. in conjunction with service diversions) and associated semi-mature landscape planting at this location shall be provided as soon as is practicable after completion of these boundary walls.

Reason: To protect the amenities of residential properties adjacent to the proposed road development.


The Document entitled “Newlands Cross Oral Hearing – Final Schedule of Commitments”, submitted at the oral hearing on 10th April 2008 (referred to in Condition 1 above) includes inter alia:

  • Newlands Road/Newlands Drive/New Road


  • Semi-mature tree planting (planted at approx. 5m height) to the grass verge to the rear of properties to the north east of the N7, on Newlands Road is proposed in response to concerns raised by residents, should the inspector wish to include it
  • There will be a consistency in appearance of the selected ancillary materials along the road corridor i.e. Rubble stone-clad finish to the walls of the overpass, road signage, lighting barriers etc
  • Appropriate noise barrier will be provided


Residential Amenity

  • There will be a localised moderate and negative impact on some of the residential properties on Newlands Road, particularly No.7 – No 33, by the proposed development during the operational stage. Views from these properties, particularly the medium and long distance views to the Green belt, Tallaght and distant Dublin mountains to the south east will be affected. [Emphasis added]


Privacy & Overlooking

  • As previously mentioned, the houses that will be most affected by the various impacts of the proposed development are No. 7 – No. 33 Newlands Road.
  • The design speed of the proposed overpass is 85km/hr with a speed limit of 80km/hr. These will ensure that the traffic is transient, in motion, and not stationary.
  • The proposed noise barrier which is 1.5m in height will mitigate the majority of views from the road corridor towards the rear gardens of the residential properties on Newlands Road, north-east of the junction. There will however be views towards these gardens from Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV make up approximately 13% or road usage). [Emphasis added]
  • The additional landscape mitigation proposed of semi-mature broadleaf tree plantings to the south of the rear boundaries of houses on Newlands Road will in time create a visual screen. {Emphasis added}.
  • The distance of the properties from the proposed overpass, averages at 35m (115ft), as well as existing trees and hedgerows in some of the rear gardens themselves, will assist in maintaining privacy and minimise the impacts of overlooking. Additional tree planting as shown in the sections will assist in increasing privacy, particularly where back gardens have little or no existing screening in the form of vegetation. [Emphasis added]


The Council is satisfied that any negative impact on the houses on Newlands Road (including the views) emanating from the finished scheme was acknowledged at the Oral Hearing and addressed by the ‘Bord’ by way of Conditions attaching to their Decision.

In addition however, and following numerous meetings/correspondences with both residents from Newlands Road and their elected representatives, the NRA (now TII) has already provided substantial additional mitigating measures to the rear of those properties on Newlands Road namely

  • The 2.5m high boundary wall to the rear of Newlands Road properties was extended beyond that required by the ABP condition, as far as No. 53 Newlands Road;
  • The species of tree planted in the verge along the service road to the rear of the properties was changed to one with a greater spread and faster growth;
  • The height of the trees planted between No. 25 and 53 Newlands Road were in excess of 7m, instead of the 5m height specified in the Schedule of Commitments;
  • The number of trees planted between No. 25 and 53 Newlands Road was doubled from that originally specified as a result of reducing the spacing between trees from 10m to 5m;
  • The 1.8m high noise barrier on the road embankment was extended by over 40m (from that conditioned by ABP) to provide additional screening and noise mitigation to adjacent properties;
  • The Contractor replaced existing trees that were removed from gardens to facilitate the construction of the boundary wall (where agreed with the property owner in advance of commencing works to the wall).


During the Construction phase, in Jan 2015, RPS Consulting Engineers at the request of the NRA, undertook an independent review of planning compliance following a formal complaint that there had been a number of infringements to commitments made in the EIS and in the Final Schedule of Commitments. RPS formed the view that the Landscaping Plan was compliant with the EIS, the Final Schedule of Commitments and the Construction Requirements.

The Council is satisfied therefore that landscaping for the scheme (including to the rear of properties on Newlands Road) was properly planned and executed and especially when taken in combination with the additional mitigating measures referred to above, will in time create the visual screen envisaged in the ‘Approved Scheme’. The level of screening therefore is satisfactory and no further measures are necessary or will be provided.

Finally, the Newlands Cross Upgrade Scheme was designed, built and financed by the TII. It is also operated and maintained by them for the most part except for the sections of Belgard, Fonthill and Boot Road that lie within the scheme parameters. SDCC therefore has no responsibilities for the ongoing and future maintenance of the landscaping to the rear of these properties.