03 Mar 2017

Imagine Dundum – March 2017 Update

Imagine Dundrum : March 2017 update

Since we were last in touch, Imagine Dundrum has been busy on several fronts. We have been working hard on the all-important link with the developers for the Dundrum site, and have been working to expand the Imagine Dundrum network, so there will be a strong unified voice in the area to promote the best possible future for our village. We are currently preparing to meet with local businesses and other organisations to seek their support. We are working on the website, and keeping local TDs informed. We hope to move to a more public phase soon, and will keep you posted. More details below…

1. Meeting with Hammerson’s Development Manager
Following correspondence with Simon Betty, Hammerson Business Manager for Ireland, Imagine Dundrum was invited to an introductory meeting with Ed Dobbs, the newly-appointed Development Manager for the Dundrum development, in early February.

It proved a friendly and useful exchange of information and views, which enabled us to brief Mr Dobbs on our work to date, and the ideas set out in the Imagine Dundrum Vision Statement and illustrated by architectural drawings. We highlighted our fundamental design and planning principles for the future Dundrum – especially the restoration of an authentic village street and a strong civic/community focus – as well as our contacts with local residents’ associations, County Councillors and TDs. We learned at the meeting that the major strategic decisions have not yet been taken for the Dundrum Village (or ‘Phase Two’) development (which covers the old shopping centre site + other properties Hammerson has bought)1 As announced in the press recently2 a UK-based architectural firm has now been appointed to help develop the master plan for what is likely to be a ‘mixed use’ development, i.e. residential and commercial. So things are definitely moving now! It was good to learn that Hammerson as a company is committed to sustainable, environmentally friendly development3, and to current thinking on ‘place-making’ and building ‘Positive Places’, which benefit local communities. We learned that there will be a consultation process, probably in the second half of 2017, to which Imagine Dundrum will be invited to contribute, so we plan to prepare a strong input into that, and encourage others to do the same. In the meantime, Mr Dobbs is happy for us to keep in touch, and willing to update us on progress. Overall, we are very pleased that the meeting took place, and that Imagine Dundrum now has a direct link with the developers, which could prove very valuable over the coming year…

1. Including Waldemar Terrace, Usher House (the building housing Ulster Bank) and 2 individual properties on the East side of the Main Street).
2. www.irishtimes.com/business/retail-and-services/owner-of-dundrum-town-centre-reports-9-4-rise-in-profits-1.2981937,
3. See http://sustainability.hammerson.com

2. Meeting our local TDs
Over the last few months, Imagine Dundrum members have met with all three of our local TDs: Catherine Martin (Green Party), Shane Ross (Independent) and Josepha Madigan (Fine Gael) and briefed them about our group and our ideas for the future of Dundrum. All have expressed support for our work, and we will keep in contact with them (as with our local County Councillors) as things develop.

3. March meeting with local independent businesses and other bodies
Members of the Imagine Dundrum group have been talking informally with the owners/managers of local independent businesses on and near Dundrum Main Street, and we will be inviting them, along with representatives from local churches and other bodies with a substantial interest in the future of Dundrum Village, to an information meeting planned for the end of March. We hope this will give us an opportunity to present our work and ideas to this important audience, and to hear the views of as many of them as possible.

4. Updated documents and website
Documents: we have recently updated Imagine Dundrum’s one-page explanatory leaflet, and our three-page Vision Statement. We’ll be happy to send electronic copies on request. We can also send our current version of a document outlining ideas for a civic/ community/ cultural space in the new Dundrum, as signalled in the current County Development Plan.

Website:it has taken longer than we hoped to get our website up and running, but we hope to be able to launch it very soon now!

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