As already highlighted in this ACA document, the Foxrock area is coming under considerable development pressure, which may harm the balance of the landscape dominated setting which so strongly informs its special character. To safeguard this special character and to ensure the appropriate management of development within the area, the Planning Authority sets out the following guidance:
1. Infill Development and Sub-division of Existing Sites
Development proposals in this regard need to respect the special character of the ACA and have regard to the scale, massing, height, design and setting of existing structures. New structures should be subservient to the existing structure with due regard to site coverage and design. In assessing applications for the infill / subdivision of existing sites, the Planning Authority will have regard to the following:
2. Demolition and Replacement of Existing Structures
The Planning Authority's approach in this regard is informed by Policy AR5 of the current County Development Plan 2004-2010, which sets out policy in relation to the rehabilitation and reuse of existing older buildings. This policy states the following:
"It is Council policy to encourage the rehabilitation, renovation and reuse of existing older buildings wher e appropria e, in prefer ence to t heir demolition andr edevel opment". t
There will therefore be a presumption in favor of retaining any building, which makes a positive contribution to the character of the ACA. Where the demolition
of a building is proposed the key considerations that will be taken into account include:
Where planning permission is sought for demolition on the grounds of structural defects the applicant must include an assessment by a suitably qualified professional on the existing condition of the structure. Justification for any demolition within the ACA on structural grounds will require details demonstrating why repairs and remedial works are not feasible.
Details of the design including materials proposed for replacement buildings will be required in any case where demolition is proposed.
In general, the re-use of existing buildings is preferable to their replacement. Applications for permission to demolish buildings, which contribute to the special character of the ACA, will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. The onus will be on the applicant to justify the demolition of the building.
3. Amalgamation of Properties / Sites.
In order to preserve the special character of the ACA, the Planning Authority is not favourably disposed to the amalgamation of existing sites within the ACA. It is considered that the integrity of existing individual plots is a distinctive feature of the pattern of development within the Foxrock area and as such is an integral aspect of its special character. Any development proposals therefore which compromise the integrity of existing plots through the removal of existing boundary trees and hedgerows or inappropriate development proposals in terms of scale, design, site coverage and setting, are unlikely to receive favourable consideration from the Planning Authority. For any proposed development, which involves the amalgamation of a group of sites within the ACA, the onus is on the applicant to demonstrate that the special character of the ACA would not be adversely affected.
4. Future Village Development and Improvement
Foxrock village presently accommodates a mix of small-scale commercial uses commensurate with its neighbourhood centre status. The village area is taken to include the following:
(a) The lands adjacent to the village crossroads, which are zoned "NC" (neighbourhood Centre) and "F" (Open Space / Amenity Provision) in the current County Development Plan.
Future development proposals within the village will need to respect its existing character and have regard to the following village characteristics:
While the village has a distinct character and charm, there are a number of issues, which currently detract from its character, including:
To address these issues there is a need for an environmental improvement scheme that provides improved off-street parking provision together with an improved layout and definition of the public realm with appropriate landscaping measures, surface treatments and street furniture, which complement the character of the village.
5. New Buildings
The development of new buildings within the ACA should be a stimulus to imaginative, high quality design, and seen as an opportunity to enhance the area. What is important is not that new buildings should directly imitate earlier styles, rather that they should be designed with respect to their context, as part of a larger whole, which has a well established character and appearance of its own.
Development Criteria for New Buildings:
i. New developments must not adversely affect the character of the streetscape.
The emphasis must be on a high quality design solution, which would preserve or enhance the special character of the area. The Planning Authority will seek to encourage high quality contemporary design solutions, which reflect the age in which we live.
6. Landscape Protection
As the essence of what is Foxrock is to a great degree derived from its mature trees, shrubs and hedgerows, future developments within the area must include provisions to protect and maintain the sylvan character of the area and the sense of enclosure, which the tree canopy and hedgerows provide along the roads within the ACA. In assessing development proposals within the ACA, the Planning Authority will take into account their potential impact on these elements.
A Tree Survey must be carried out by a qualified Arborist, as an initial step to formulating a development proposal for a site within the ACA. This survey must inform the layout of the development proposal and advise as to the overall site suitability and compatibility with preserving the sylvan character of the area.
Future developments must take cognisance of the existing mature planting and vegetation cover from the outset so that vehicular access requirements and the siting of new buildings do not impinge on the existing landscape character. Access and hard standing must not dominate the site or adversely affect existing amenity vegetation. Hard and soft landscaping should be used to divide parking areas and soften their impact. In addition, a comprehensive landscape plan must accompany any applications for development within the ACA. This plan must aim to strengthen the landscape character around and within the development site.
Consideration must be given to the suitability of new species, which are sympathetic with the existing historic landscape character. Where new development does occur, adequate space must be provided for larger trees to be planted and given room to mature. The particular importance of maintaining roadside hedgerows must also be acknowledged and reflected in any development proposals. The piecemeal removal of hedgerows will be viewed in terms of the accumulative impact over time on the sylvan character of the ACA. The removal of roadside hedgerows or the splaying of existing entrances to provide new or improved vehicular access points, should only be contemplated when it can be realistically justified on the grounds of traffic or pedestrian safety.
Suggested species to be used for hedgerows and boundary treatments:
Beech Hazel Hawthorn Blackthorn Yew Holm Oak Hornbeam
(Fagus sylvatica) (Coryl us av ellana) (Crataegus spp) (Prunus spinosa) (Taxus s pp) (Quercus il ex) (Carpi nus betulus)
Holly (Ilex aquifolium) Field Maple (Acer Campestre) Private (Li gustrum ovali fol i um) Bay Laurel (Laur us nobilis ) Phillyrea (Phil l yrea s pp) Osmanthus (Osmanthus spp)
Given the immense importance of the trees and other vegetation to informing the special sylvan character of this area, it is proposed that as part of this ACA designation, an assessment of existing trees and other important vegetation will be carried out by the Planning Authority with a view to making Tree Preservation Orders under Section 205 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 in order to ensure the preservation of this important aspect of the ACA landscape.
7. Works to the Public Realm
Works to the public realm, which include footpaths, street furniture, parking provision etc will have to have due regard to the special character of the ACA.
Any changes to traffic management and parking within the ACA will take into account its ACA designation and will seek to preserve or enhance the special character of the ACA in the design and provision of Pay and Display machines, signage, ramps, renewed surfaces, dished pavements etc.
The Council will actively promote the retention of all surviving original kerbing and items of street furniture, which contribute to the special character of the ACA.
New street furniture when being provided will be of high quality reflecting the character of the ACA.
8. Views and Vistas
The preservation of existing views and vistas is important for the overall integrity of this ACA. The following views are considered important in this context:
View 1 : As one moves south along Westminster Road, from approximately 300m - 400m before Hainault Road, there is a significant view towards the Dublin Mountains in the distance. This view is exceptionally well framed as one moves south along Westminster Road by the trees and hedgerows on the eastern side of Westminster Road, which give way to the hills, mountains and forests in the distance. This gives the impression that one is in a more rural than suburban landscape with uninterrupted views to quintessential rural scenery in the distance affording a strong impression that one is approaching the countryside. These views are presently available at street level and add to the sense that Foxrock Village is almost rural in its setting.
The existing curve along this stretch of Westminster Road throws the line of this view to the mountains over existing front garden areas as opposed to the view being largely over the road. Existing strong hedgerow and tree cover in these front gardens is essential for framing this view of what essentially appears to be unbroken greenery from Westminster Road through to the forests and mountains. It is important to note that this "green" view is also facilitated by the significant set back from the roadside boundary of any large dwellings and where dwellings are located in closer proximity to the road, they tend to be more modest cottage style single storey structures.
View 2 The view through loose roadside canopy from the junction at the Birches through to the Gables at the junction at Leopardstown Village, and through to the Sugar loaf mountain.
View 3 The view from Torquay Road to the side gable of the pharmacy with the group of pines at the junction in Foxrock village.
View 4 The view from the Post office at the junction in Foxrock village to the Junction at the Koppings residence provides a superior Tree Canopy.
View 5 The view from the section of road from The Residence Foxdene To the Residence Red Cottage has a superior high Canopy of Pine, Cupressus, Picea and Abies.
View 6 The view from the residence Cedar Lodge to the residence Swynnerton is very good with a high tree Canopy overarching the road.
View 7 The view from the residence Brighton Hall and Woodfield contains a good roadside tree canopy of Beech ,Pine and Chestnut.
View 8 The view from the Gables in Foxrock village to the junction at Plunkett Avenue is of loose canopy in a garden style.
View 9 The view from the residence at Rusheen and Kenure to the residence of Alton Grange is one of mature trees.
View 10 The view from Mart Lane to the Stillorgan Road is amongst the more mature tree canopy on Westminster Road.
The preservation of these views will require: