September 9th, 2009, 08:00 PM
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Dublin Port plans to take 52 acres from Dublin Bay
Dublin Port is ready to start it's infill of a part of the bay as soon as planning permission is granted.
This highly controversial scheme is now before An Bord Pleanála.
Port company defends infill plan
Dublin Port Company does not propose a major infill of Dublin Bay – the proposal to reclaim 52 acres in the vicinity of the north docks and Clontarf, “represents just 0.38 per cent of the total area of the Bay” the Port Company told Bord Pleanla today.
Addressing an oral hearing into the Port Company proposals, chief executive – Enda Connellan said Dublin Port was “of national significance and of key importance to the achievement of a competitive, dynamic and efficient economy”.
Mr Connellan said the port company throughput accounted for more than €35billion of the State’s trade in 2008. However he said capacity was a crucial factor and the port needed deeper berths to accommodate bigger ships.
He said the proposed expansion would allow for an increase of up to 50 per cent in capacity for unitized containers which was crucial to the national economy.
He maintained economic GDP activity in the State would return to “a more sustainable growth rate of 3.5 percent per annum” by 2011 and he calculated that unitized container traffic through the port would then be growing at a rate of about 4.5 percent per annum
The application is however being opposed by a range of environmentalists, public representatives and residents in the Clontarf and wider Dublin Bay area who point out that alongside the 52 acres of infill, Dublin Port requires at least that much area again, for pontoons, constant dredging and ship movements in the vicinity of the proposed infill.
Objectors An Taisce, Dublin Bay Watch and Clontarf residents association told the opening of the inquiry today that the development was in breach of a number of EU directives
Economic arguments should not be part of port inquiry
- The Irish Times, 4th September 2009
Economic arguments at the core of the Dublin Port Company’s plans to infill 52 acres of Dublin Bay may not be considered by a planning inquiry into the project, An Bord Pleanála was told yesterday.
The board’s fast-track strategic infrastructure division is hearing an application by the port company for planning permission for the infill, which it said would increase unitised container traffic through the port by up to 50 per cent. The company said the expansion would be necessary to provide deep-water berths for larger ships, and was central to the economic prosperity of the State.
However, speaking at the opening of the An Bord Pleanála oral hearing into the application yesterday, barrister Donall O’Laoire said the area in question was in the process of being designated as a special protected area under the EU Birds Directive.
Mr O’Laoire, who represents Dublin Bay Watch and the Clontarf Residents Association, both of which oppose the plans, said the European Court had ruled that in circumstances where areas were candidates for protection, legislation from the birds directive applied. “This directive specifically states that economic and recreational arguments are not admissible,” he told An Bord Pleanála senior planning inspector Brendan Wyse. Mr O’Laoire was supported by barrister Ian Lumly of An Taisce, who said there were two further potential legal challenges to the inquiry.
Firstly, questions arose “over the validity of the entire hearing” because of what he maintained were deficiencies in relation to the environmental impact assessment. Secondly, the port company had refused to divulge information on the carbon emissions of the proposed development, contrary to a European directive.
Mr Wyse said he had taken the comments of both barristers into consideration and time could be allocated in the hearing to listen to full submissions on the topics raised.
The inquiry continues.
This application, whilst it has considerable merit, to my mind it contradicts the long term plan to completely move the port.
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Last edited by odlum833; September 9th, 2009 at 08:09 PM.