Saturday, 4 October 2008

Victory for our Community: McHugh's Site Declared Derelict

Something very exciting indeed has happened in Greenhills this past fortnight.

After more than 5 years of witnessing neglect on our doorstep, we stood up as a community and said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH on the McHugh’s eyesore. The petition I launched 2 weeks ago on behalf of local residents has already amassed an extraordinary 450 responses from our community. And, finally, by working together we have had something of a victory on the site.


Responding to an Area Committee question from my colleague, Cllr Eamonn Walsh, the Council have now confirmed the site as derelict under the 1990 Derelict Sites Act. This decision leads to a number of possibilities. Firstly, the developer is now required to clean up the appearance of the site under what is called a Section 11. Secondly, the Council have confirmed that legal proceedings may occur if relevant work is not done. Thirdly, the pressure is now on both the Council and the developer to act on the site.


I believe that in the interests of democracy and resourcing our community, the Council should purchase the site – a mechanism now made possible by declaring it officially derelict. The mass community campaign I have launched with hundreds of local residents has put further pressure on the Council to initiate this CPO (Compulsory Purchase Order). Declaring the site derelict is the first step to a CPO – but only a community-led campaign can make it a reality.


Our campaign has also put the spotlight on this rogue developer and his pathetic excuses for this eyesore. Our campaign has already made the front page of the Southside People, and has had huge coverage to date in papers such as the Tallaght Voice and the Echo, meaning that McHugh is acutely aware of the powerful campaign we have built and the message we have put forward. We have joined together to demand that he cleans up the site and ensures the community services we need locally are provided – and we have made clear that we won’t wait.


Many thanks to those who have already taken the time to sign the petition – many of you taking the trouble to post letters, drop them to my door by hand, or register online. If you haven’t signed yet, please take ten seconds to sign here.

I will join with Cllr Eamonn Walsh to present our petitions to McHugh and the Council in the coming days. We will continue to be in constant contact with local people in building this campaign and keeping you informed and updated. Please get in touch with me at any stage to discuss how we can advance this campaign.

Together, we will remove this eyesore and change Greenhills for the better.