Newlands Cross Landscaping Issues

PRESS RELEASE 

 

The landscaping of Newlands Cross 

 

Newlands Cross, perhaps the most famous 'crossroads' in Ireland. Generations of visitors set their compass by Newlands Cross. This is borne out by the record number of visitors to our village and our hotels (Green Isle, Bewleys, Louis Fitzgerald, Ibis). From the moment we heard that work on a new flyover was to commence at Newlands Cross, we engaged strongly with public representatives, South Dublin County Council, the National Roads Authority (NRA) and BAM, the company who won the tender to carry out the work both at Newlands Cross (N7) and at Arklow, Co. Wicklow (N11).

 

The design, construction and financing of the upgrading of the existing Newlands Cross N7 Naas Road / R113 Belgard/Fonthill Road at-grade junction to a grade-separated junction, resulting in the creation of an N7 overpass, and estimated to carry up to 90,000 vehicles a day was officially opened 3 months ahead of schedule on the 18th November 2014. BAM are currently close to completing the entire project with alterations being made to all surrounding links roads. The NRA has not disclosed the cost of the PPP but Bam Contractors’ website put the combined value of the Wicklow and Dublin elements at €126 million, without land costs.

 

 

 

The design, construction and financing of the upgrading of the existing Newlands Cross N7 Naas Road / R113 Belgard/Fonthill Road at-grade junction to a grade-separated junction, resulting in the creation of an N7 overpass, and estimated to carry up to 90,000 vehicles a day was officially opened 3 months ahead of schedule on the 18th November 2014. BAM are currently close to completing the entire project with alterations being made to all surrounding links roads. The NRA has not disclosed the cost of the PPP but Bam Contractors’ website put the combined value of the Wicklow and Dublin elements at €126 million, without land costs.

 

When you invite someone to your house, you're sure to invite them into a tidy and clean sitting room. That is what Clondalkin Tidy Towns, with the help of other agencies and bodies try to achieve in the greater Clondalkin area, and when construction started at Newlands in 2013, we insisted that we should not accept substandard work, especially in the look and feel of the junction. Elements that Clondalkin is famous for should also be used in the finished product, such as stone walls that can be seen throughout the village today.  An old stone wall from the Naas Road opposite Joels was found during construction work and under instruction from Clondalkin Tidy Towns every stone carefully removed by BAM and then transported to Round Towers GAA clubhouse on Convent Road, where the wall was brilliantly rebuilt again.

 

A number of very mature and iconic trees were regrettably uprooted from the site and we have been left with two miserable and sick looking trees which will not survive. At present we have a barren landscape bereft of any shape, colour or imagination. Our concerns were further compounded when Martin Desmond of MCD Landscapes indicated he was not involved in the landscaping of the areas discussed (area in front of Office Block and the green area opposite Bewleys Hotel). 

 

Clondalkin Tidy Towns Chairman, Mr Pat O’Sullivan was shown plans by john Coughlan, an engineer with SDCC which only included bulb planting. Hopefully this is not the extent of the landscaping. The question we have asked on numerous questions to BAM, the NRA, SDCC and local elected representatives is, “What if any landscape plan is there?” Mr O’Sullivan also asked senior officials in SDCC on replacing the large stone that had been at Newlands with a more suitable 'welcome feature' to Clondalkin and he also highlighted the negative comments regarding the Newlands area by the 2014 National Tidy Towns adjudicator.

 

We must commend BAM on their sterling work so far, ensuring that traffic disruptions have been kept to a minimum and the concerns of local residents have been addressed in the majority of cases. 

 

We now ask on the NRA and SDCC to ensure that when BAM complete all works at Newlands Cross, that it is an example of world class engineering and that the aesthetics match this too. Bulb planting is not sufficient in such a vast green space. A couple of thousand euro would go a long way to meeting our request, and considering the overall estimated cost of the project, we are not looking for much.  All we ask for is that this area be given the touch of class it deserves to match the flyover beside it and one BAM, the NRA, SDCC, local residents and ourselves can be proud of…..again.  

 

We held a meeting with Minister Francis Fitzgerald last weekend to ask her if she could raise our concerns with the NRA and SDCC. Minister Fitzgerald assured us she would contact the relevant bodies immediately and echo our request for appropriate planting and landscaping in all green spaces at Newlands.  

 

The people of Clondalkin, especially Newlands residents have put up with a lot of disruption and inconvenience (and still are). The concerns of the people and the many generations who will visit us must be listened to and addressed fully.