Halt­ing site to be up­graded to a hous­ing scheme with walk­way

Bray People - - NEWS -

PLANS to build three houses at the Sil­ver­bridge halt­ing site were pro­duced at last Tues­day’s meet­ing of Bray Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict.

De­clan Mur­nane from the hous­ing de­part­ment was there to dis­cuss the project with mem­bers. The three houses would be home to an ex­tended fam­ily cur­rently liv­ing at the site.

Sil­ver­bridge was the first halt­ing site in County Wick­low.

Mr Mur­nane said that up­grad­ing the ac­com­mo­da­tion has been dis­cussed for some time.

There was a pro­posal in 2015 to build three new houses and change Sil­ver­bridge from a halt­ing site to a hous­ing scheme.

Of­fi­cials looked at it again and have now pro­posed to con­vert five day units and a care­taker unit to three new houses. The ad­van­tage will be that they can do so one at a time, mov­ing fam­i­lies in one by one, rather than hav­ing to house them some­where else en­tirely dur­ing the build.

Sil­ver­bridge res­i­dents must cur­rently walk to and from their home via the N11, where the only en­trance ex­ists.

This new project would in­clude pedes­trian ac­cess only across the orig­i­nal N11 onto Dar­gle Lane.

Cllr Joe Be­han wel­come the pro­posed up­grade. He said that Sil­ver­bridge is 25 years in ex­is­tence and has got­ten quite de­graded.

‘It’s essen­tial that there are proper stan­darts of ac­com­mo­da­tion put in there,’ he said.

Cllr Be­han said that it is ex­tremely im­por­tant that there is direct con­sul­ta­tion with res­i­dents in the area. He said that lo­cals had been quite help­ful dur­ing the orig­i­nal in­stal­la­tion. ‘ They had cer­tain con­cerns which we tried to ad­dress and it would ap­pear things have worked rea­son­ably well through the years.’

Cllr Be­han said that it’s not right for any res­i­dent in a devel­op­ment man­aged and owned by the coun­cil to be told they must walk along the N11. ‘When it was orig­i­nally es­tab­lished there was less traf­fic and lower speeds. Things have changed and it’s ab­so­lutely, dread­fully dan­ger­ous.’

Cllr Pat Vance voted against the halt­ing site orig­i­nally. ‘And then I opened it,’ he told mem­bers. ‘ The one rea­son and ma­jor rea­son I voted against it was be­cause the en­trance is on the N11. Any res­i­dent of County Wick­low who had looked for per­mis­sion to build a house there with en­try on to the N11 wouldn’t have got it. I felt it was fright­fully dan­ger­ous. I felt it was a cop out, to put the site there away from the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion.

‘Cast iron guar­an­tees were given to peo­ple with re­gard to no en­trance or exit onto their land,’ said Cllr Vance. ‘ This was the first halt­ing site in Wick­low and I couldn’t be­lieve how well the peo­ple there be­haved. They even came to the open­ing of the halt­ing site. A lot of other places wouldn’t have the same at­ti­tude. The least we can do is knock on doors and ex­plain what we are talk­ing about do­ing.’

Cllr Steven Matthews asked Mr Mur­nane what is there at the mo­ment. ‘Is it pos­si­ble that peo­ple are al­ready go­ing up and down through it at the mo­ment,’ he said. Mr Mur­nane said it is quite over­grown, and there’s no ev­i­dence that any­one is go­ing through there.

Cllr John Ryan won­dered if it may be the pref­er­ence of res­i­dents to walk the N11 to get to the Dar­gle, re­gard­less of whether an al­ter­na­tive pedes­trian walk­way is in­stalled. He won­dered if it would be pos­si­ble to put a pro­tected path on the N11. Mr Mur­nane said that this had been ex­plored and a TII would not en­ter­tain that.

‘ The re­al­ity is if they want to go to the Dar­gle, they won’t use the pedes­trian exit,’ said Cllr Ryan. The TII should cop on, he felt.

Cllr Ryan said that he has seen chil­dren on the river side of La Vallee and go­ing along the top of a wall. ‘It’s fright­en­ing,’ he said. ‘One wrong step, and some­one could hit their head.’

Mr Mur­nane said that there would be pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion any­way, but that he would take on board the mem­bers’ sug­ges­tion that res­i­dents of the area be con­tacted.

Sil­ver­bridge Halt­ing Site

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