In a statement today, Melisa Halpin
, People Before Profit councillor for Dun Laoghaire, said she was disgusted at the defeat of a motion calling on An Bord Pleanala not to grant permission for a Cruise Berth in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.
At last night’s council meeting, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown councillors considered the council executive’s own submission to An Bord Pleanala. As the relevant Planning Authority DLRCoCo are required to submit a report to ABP. While the councillors cannot amend or change the submission they could have ensured a motion is appended to the report.
Cllr Halpin said: “The Council executive have produced a comprehensive report for An Bord Pleanala and while I agree with some of the points made, I proposed a motion that clearly stated that the councillors are opposed to the planning permission being granted for a number of reasons.
Cllr Halpin added: “We oppose the Cruise Berth facility in our historic harbour because the proposed development threatens the harbour as a public amenity – to pay out €18 million the Harbour Company, by their own admittance, would have to sell parts of the harbour. It is totally unsustainable development to grant permission for a Cruise berth for super sized liners in Dun Laoghaire – just 5 miles from Dublin Port which has just been granted permission to develop a twin berth for such liners.
Cllr Halpin said: “Dun Laoghaire Harbour is at a cross roads – it needs a comprehensive plan for its future. But this plan should be about low impact sustainable development that will help regenerate the town. This kind of development would include a Diaspora Centre, small boat repair workshops, a development of our inshore fishing industry, the small cruise ship niche market and the promotion of the Harbour as a major tourist attraction. Save Our Seafront recently produced a document entitled An Alternative Vision for DL Harbour that outlines a comprehensive way forward for the harbour that is not about supersized cruise ships. I am absolutely disgusted that this motion was defeated at the council meeting yesterday evening”
Motion: While there are positives in the Planning Authority report, this Council agrees the proposed plan for a new Cruise Berth in Dun Laoghaire Harbour should not be given permission by An Bord Pleanala on the following grounds:
1. Dublin Port has recently been granted planning permission for a twin berth facility for next generation Cruise Ships – two competing cruise berths within 5 miles is not sustainable planning.
2. We recognise the important role cruise ships could play in the regeneration of Dun Laoghaire but believe that the niche market of smaller cruise ships is more appropriate and would not negatively impact on the historic aspect of Dun Laoghaire Harbour or the traditional harbour activities – fishing, sailing, walking etc.
3. We are concerned that the €18 million cost of this berthing facility would mean the sale of parts of our harbour and this would threaten its future as a public amenity and major tourist attraction.
4. The Cruise Berth is only stage 1 of the proposed commercial development of the harbour outlined in the Harbour Company Masterplan. While this document is not a statutory document, each phase is linked and they financially depend on each other. The Cruise Berth proposal should not be looked at in isolation from the rest of the Masterplan, which, in its entirety would appear to contravene the Dun Laoghaire Urban Framework Plan (CDP 2010-2016), which seeks to connect the town with the sea and increase Town Centre Vitality.