People power wins the day at county development plan meeting
Local TD asks “Is this bye bye to Monster cruise ships in our harbour?”
In a statement today, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, welcomed the decision of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown councillors to vote to protect Dun Laoghaire Harbour and asks if this could be the end of plans for monster cruise ships in our Harbour.
In the final draft of the County Development Plan, the Chief Executive attempted to overturn proposals by Cllr Melisa Halpin to protect the Harbour from mega cruise liners and to limit building heights within the harbour.
Residents of the county, harbour users and a number of campaign groups have been campaigning for the last year to ensure that only small cruise ships will be allowed come into Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Campaigners believe that spending €18 million on a new cruise berth in the Harbour is a dangerous gamble and the first step on the road to privatisation. According to a council report – the cruise berth and other harbour projects would be financed by private apartments within the harbour.
Campaigners want to see the harbour developed as a working harbour that balances both the commercial and the leisure aspects of the harbour.
The plan for a new cruise berth for the harbour is currently being considered by An Bord Pleanala and the Board will have to be cognisant of the new commitments in the County Development Plan in their deliberations.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD and chair of Save Our Seafront said: “I am delighted that the proposals that councillor Melisa Halpin has been championing have been passed by such a great majority. It is yet another victory for People Power in the battle to Save Our Seafront and Harbour. When we started our fight to protect our Harbour for the people, only a handful of councillors supported us, It is a testimony to all the people who campaigned and lobbied for the last year that the vote to preclude mega cruise liners from the Harbour was won last night by 30 votes to 7.
We now await the decision from An Bord Pleanala but we are hopeful that this might be the end of this madcap plan to spend €18 million on one single project that is highly likely to become a white elephant because Dublin Port will be competing with it.”
Richard Boyd Barrett calls for radical change to Harbours Bill to prevent privatisation of Dun Laoghaire harbour
Richard Boyd Barrett has submitted 29 amendments to the Harbours Bill which will be debated in the Dail at 4pm this evening. The People before Profit TD will be calling a vote on all amendments.
The amendments are aimed at radically changing the bill to ensure the dissolution of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company as a semi state quango and to prevent the privatisation of Dun Laoghaire harbour and other harbours.
Dun Laoghaire and other harbours are severely threatened by privatisation and this bill should be aimed at protecting these vital assets and ensuring they are developed for the benefit of all and not private companies.
They are also aimed at excluding the possibility of a giant cruise berth and apartments being built in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.
Dun Laoghaire Harbour should be transferred to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, with the dissolution of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, to make it a fully integrated department of the council; and that decisions regarding its future should be made by the elected members, in consultation with a newly established Harbour Stakeholder Group.
As Chairperson of Save Our Seafront, Richard Boyd Barrett has been spearheading a campaign against the Harbour Company plans to build a giant cruise berth and hundreds of private apartments in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.
Richard Boyd Barrett said, “This bill is of vital importance not just for Dun Laoghaire but for other major harbours in the state and I have tabled these amendments to ensure Dun Laoghaire Harbour is not privatised.
Our campaign and my amendments are aimed at ensuring that the quango is disbanded and the harbour comes properly under real public control and is developed in the public interest.
A huge campaign in Dun Laoghaire has indicated that there is not public support for a giant cruise ship berth so we want to see this plan and plans for apartments in the harbour scrapped.”
In a statement today, People Before Profit Dun Laoghaire, welcomed the decision of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Co Council to pass a motion amending the new County Development Plan which will exclude Cruise ships bigger than 250 metres from Dun Laoghaire harbour
People Before Profit Councillors Melisa Halpin and Karl Gill proposed the motion to protect the harbour into the future by only allowing the small cruise ships to come directly into the Harbour. All other ships would have to dock in the bay and come in by tender or go to the larger cruise berth in Dublin Port.
The passing of the motion comes, while An Bord Pleanala are currently considering an application by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company to build a giant cruise berth in the harbour to allow for super-size cruise ships of up to 430 metres in length.
Richard Boyd Barrett, People Before Profit TD and chair of Save Our Seafront said: “Save Our Seafront is delighted with this news , which will now have to be taken into account by An Bord Pleanala in their current consideration of the cruise berth planning application. This is a huge victory for people power. We have been campaigning for nearly a year against a new Cruise Berth that would allow mega cruise ships come into our harbour, and which is linked to other plans to build hundreds of private apartments in the harbour. It is clear that public pressure, mobilized in meetings protests and petitions, is working. ”
“Dun Laoghaire harbour is at a cross roads since Stena left. The Harbour Company sees the future in these supersized monsters, we believe there is a different vision of the harbour – one which will safeguard traditional harbour users like the million people who walk the pier and those who fish and sail, while also developing the harbour in their interests. Super sized cruise ships in our harbour would shift the balance decisively away from the harbour as an amenity, we want to see the harbour maintaining the balance that it has always had as both a working harbour and an amenity.”
Cllr Melisa Halpin added: “The new draft of the County Development Plan will now include a number of motions that are totally incompatible with the super sized cruise ships. Our motion rules out ships bigger than 250 metres coming into the harbour, we also agreed motions to maintain only low rise development in the harbour and support a National Water Sports Centre. “
People Before Profit TD to present submission on Cruise Berth at An Bord Pleanala hearing next week
The campaign to protect Dun Laoghaire Harbour from the controversial Cruise Berth and associated private residential development within the curtilage of Harbour is intensifying this week as the An Bord Pleanala Preliminary Oral Hearing opens tomorrow
and a major protest is planned for Saturday at 1pm at The People’s Park.
People Before Profit TD and chair of Save Our Seafront, Richard Boyd Barrett, will speak at Saturday’s rally and will be presenting the SOS submission at the ABP hearing.
Boyd Barrett recently published a booklet entitled “An Alternative Vision for Dun Laoghaire Harbour” and hosted a number of public meetings to launch this book.
The People Before Profit TD and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown councillors will be raising the issue of protecting the Harbour as a public amenity in both the Dail and the Council in the coming weeks.
A ground swell of support is growing behind the demands for to keep the Harbour as a public amenity rather than for super-sized cruise berths and private developments. Some of the submissions in this vein, that have gone into ABP come from Save Our Seafront, An Taisce, Sandycove, Glasthule Residents Association, The Combined Yacht Clubs the Water Wags and People Before Profit, amongst others.
On 10th October there will be a rally and march into the Harbour to show support for sustainable development in the Harbour and against an €18 million Cruise Berth for super-sized Cruise Liners. On the day the rally will be supported by many individuals and groups that use the harbour.
So far seven cruise ships are scheduled to visit Dún Laoghaire in 2016. One will anchor offshore while the other six smaller sized ships will be able to berth within the harbour at the Carlisle Pier.
In our document An Alternative Vision for Dún Laoghaire Harbour Save our Seafront said that we are not against cruise ships using Dún Laoghaire Harbour.
But we are against the Harbour Company’s plans to build a Cruise berth pier 435 metre long through the centre of the harbour, thereby almost cutting it in half in order to facilitate super-sized Cruise Ships.
Cruise Ships have a part to play in sustaining Dún Laoghaire as a working harbour – but as a niche market that will attract the smaller ships that can use the existing facilities.
A modest development of the pier at Dún Laoghaire would enable it to take Cruise Ships and Ferries up to 200 metres in length. The larger ships can anchor in the bay and came ashore by tender as at present. The schedule for 2016 backs up our position, six out of seven ships scheduled will be able to use the existing facilities. We should be targeting the smaller cruise ship market and providing a tourist product that emphasises the attractions of the town and surrounding areas.
Read the Save Our Seafront alternative vision for the Harbour here. Our Harbour is Not for Sale
In a statement today Richard Boyd Barrett said he will be attending the protest at 5pm today in Ringsend against the incinerator. The protest has been organised by Combined Residents Against Incineration (CRAI) which represents residents from Ringsend, Irishtown, Sandymount and the greater Dublin bay area.
The protest will take place at 5pm, meeting at Clanna Gael Fontenoy marching to the Sean Moore Roundabout, Ringsend, Dublin 4.
In a statement today Richard Boyd Barrett said, “I am supporting this protest today to show my opposition to this crazy plan to build a huge incinerator here in Dublin Bay. Incineration is not the way forward for waste. Instead we need to expand our recycling facilities with proper dividing up of waste which would create hundreds of jobs.
The incinerator will have a capacity to burn 600,ooo metric tonnes of waste. But in 2012 Ireland only produced 250,000 tonnes, this means that for this facility to burn to capacity and create the energy planned we will have to either stop recycling or start importing waste – this is madness!
So far this project has cost over €100 million and if there is not enough waste going in to the incinerator the local authorities and the public will be forced to bail it out to the tune of millions of euros. We need to call a halt to this project immediately.”