I was asked recently what I felt that the key issues for Dundrum are. It’s an excellent question so I’d like to give my thoughts on that here. 

Over the last twenty years or so, the Old Shopping Centre and Main Street have lost so many small independent retailers. Dundrum needs revitalisation and a thriving day and evening commercial community. A big part of this is the redevelopment of the Old Shopping Centre. It is now two years since the Planning Application for this was submitted to An Bord Pleanála. While the developer’s original proposals were unpopular, and I certainly didn’t see them as positive for Dundrum’s future, the delay in the ABP decision is most unhelpful too. How long more must Dundrum wait to see progress towards revitalisation?

Dundrum, in spite of its status as the second major town in the county, has been starved of investment in infrastructure and public realm improvements by the Council over many years. The local councillors have addressed this and secured commitment to significant investment. But this needs a coherent, detailed, joined-up plan for the Village. The recently adopted Local Area Plan provides the planning context – it just needs to happen! Now! 

The fabric of many buildings and shop fronts on Main Street need upgrading, to provide an attractive streetscape, and make the most of the unique character of the Village and its heritage buildings. A Dundrum Business Association is needed and setting this up would be a tangible step that could and should be taken.

Dundrum needs a very significant uplift in public facilities to cater for the population, which is expected to grow to over 40,000 by 2040. The proposed new Civic Centre, with modern library, council services and cultural spaces is critical. We just need to get on with it, to keep the pressure on and see this come to life.

And, of course, there’s the question of housing. According to recent reports, the median price of a home in Dundrum is €625k – the highest in Ireland. While development needs to take account of the needs of the people and families living there, as well as the green space, cultural space, transport needs that will increase with development, we do need to find a way to help people, particularly the young, who fear being priced out of the housing market completely.