Pat Kenny calls on council to refuse permission for Bulloch Harbour plan

Broadcaster says Dalkey development would change ambience ‘utterly’

Broadcaster Pat Kenny has called on a Dublin local authority to refuse planning permission to redevelopment plans for Bulloch Harbour near Dalkey "on multiple grounds".

In a joint objection to the Bartra Property (Dublin) Ltd application with his wife, Kathy Kenny, the Newstalk presenter claims the mixed use development would change Bulloch Harbour’s “welcoming ambience utterly, forever”.

The Kennys say Bulloch Harbour is used extensively for marine activities “and is also a place where many people come to simply enjoy the view and the sea air”.

The new scheme for the former Western Marine Building at Bulloch Harbour includes the construction of a three-storey building incorporating a cafe and one four-bedroom apartment.

The scheme also includes a single-storey seafood sales outlet, four fisherman’s huts, a new public square and three three-storey detached houses.

The Kennys – who live nearby – say the most concerning aspect of the scheme “is the ambition by the developers to provide residential accommodation in a location which is routinely affected by storms, most notably Storm Emma early in March 2018”.

In their objection lodged with Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, the Kennys say this storm was characterised as a one-in-80-years storm "but we are all warned that storms of this intensity are much more likely to be more frequent because of climate change and global warming".

The Kennys say that “therefore, to build new residential accommodation at this location would be putting people potentially in harm’s way”.

The Kennys contend that “the new flood mitigation measures are not persuasive”. They also say the new development is substantially the same as the original scheme submitted in December 2017.

The original scheme subsequently secured permission from An Bord Pleanála but permission was quashed by the High Court on consent in September 2020 following a local residents' challenge that the Kennys supported.

Residential use

The Kennys further contend that the new scheme fails to address council concerns – specifically, the predominance of residential use and low percentage of marine-related uses and that the development fails to respond to the unique context of the site and does not strengthen the special character and positive sense of place at Bulloch Harbour.

The Kennys state: “We are ad idem with the council on these points.”

Closing date for submissions was midnight on Wednesday, with the council receiving more than 100 submissions with more to be registered.

Others to make submissions include the Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association (BHPA), the Dublin Port Company and scores of local residents.

The BHPA states that the scheme should be refused on four grounds arguing that it “would comprise an unacceptable hazard for future residents”.

On behalf of the Dublin Port company, the RPS Group echoes the concerns of the Kennys and the BHPA concerning the potential risks to future residents from storm events.

Documents lodged by Bartra say the scheme has been informed by the objectives of removing “an eye sore” and creating “a landmark” mixed use scheme.

A planning report lodged by DK Planning & Architecture within these documents contends that the proposal “represents a considerable investment which will greatly enhance the public realm at Bulloch”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times

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