11 Aug 2016

Imagine Dundrum : update July 2016

The people behind Imagine Dundrum (a voluntary group of local residents concerned about Dundrum’s future, formed in January 2016 to consider a response to both the County Council’s proposed Dundrum Local Area Plan and the imminent redevelopment of Dundrum Village), have sent us on this update. Some pretty interesting stuff. If you have any comments or suggestions, let us know, or email them directly.

Imagine Dundrum : update July 2016:

1. New developer now in place – at the end of June, as reported in the media, Hammerson, a major UK property group, completed the purchase of the existing Dundrum Town Centre and the old shopping centre/ main street site. Its joint business partner is Allianz Real Estate. [The previous owner, Joe O’Reilly of Chartered Land/ Castlethorn Developments, is no longer involved.]

In addition, we have recently learned that an associated company, Dundrum Retail Partnership, have purchased Waldemar Terrace and two buildings on the Luas line side of Dundrum Main Street.

Hammerson have set up a Dublin office and announced their preference for a ‘mixed use’ new development in Dundrum, with ‘some form of residential, some retail and potentially some offices’, rather than one which is purely retail.

Following these announcements, Imagine Dundrum revised its architectural drawings to include a significant residential element, and our chair and architect met with a commercial property expert to discuss their commercial viability.

We then wrote formally at the end of July to Hammerson’s overall director for Ireland, to ask for a meeting, but have so far had no response. We hope they will be open to community input and collaboration at the early planning stages.

2. Meeting Council Planners – In May, Imagine Dundrum representatives had a useful meeting with senior County Council planners, to introduce our initiative, and to hear the planners’ current thinking in relation to the Dundrum redevelopment as well as the proposed Local Area Plan for Dundrum.

3. Keeping in contact with Dundrum County Councillors – we have recently updated all our local Councillors (whom we first met and briefed in April) about developments, and asked for their continuing support and assistance if need be. A number of them have replied very positively.

4. A civic/ community/ cultural centre – space for these purposes in ‘Phase Two’ (the village/old shopping centre site) is stipulated in the new County Development Plan, and we see this as vital to Dundrum’s future and an integral part of the new development.

We are drafting a vision statement for such a centre, which will be a focal point in the new development and provide much-needed facilities for the wider Dundrum area. It will be complemented with illustrative drawings, and we hope to circulate these to all residents’ groups as a consultation document soon.

In the meantime, we welcome your views and ideas!

5. Parallel initiatives We are now in touch with another citizens’ initiative, ‘Re-imagining Phibsborough’, which has been in operation for somewhat longer than ours, but shares some of the same challenges.

6. Website – work has started on a website for Imagine Dundrum, and we hope to have it up and running in September.

7. Funding possibilities – we anticipate a more public phase of our campaign in the coming months, and have started looking at funding possibilities which could support this.

Any suggestions you have will be most welcome!

8. Building a local network – we found the meeting with residents’ groups in May very helpful to our thinking, and it showed the potential power of a broad alliance in making a strong case for a future revitalised Dundrum which meets the needs of the whole local community.

We do want to keep in touch with everyone who has shown interest, especially all the groups and individuals who came to our May meeting for residents’ groups or have otherwise been in touch.

We plan a further update in September, by which time we may have made contact with the developer and have a clearer idea of the next steps!

Do please let us have your thoughts, ideas and questions on this and anything else relevant to the future of our village. By email if possible, to imaginedundrum2016@gmail.com.