Motorists to lose sea views at Bull Island due to new wall

Installing glass flood defences would cost up to €10 million, says Dublin City Council

Construction of a new sea wall in Clontarf will leave motorists with “significantly restricted views” of Bull Island nature sanctuary and the coast, Dublin City Council has admitted.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Construction of a new sea wall in Clontarf will leave motorists with “significantly restricted views” of Bull Island nature sanctuary and the coast, Dublin City Council has admitted. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

 

Construction of a new sea wall in Clontarf will leave motorists with “significantly restricted views” of Bull Island nature sanctuary and the coast, Dublin City Council has admitted.

However, the council said, pedestrians and cyclists will be able to see over the flood defence wall which will be one metre tall at its highest point.

The new wall, which is being built as part of a €5 million 2km cycle path from the Wooden Bridge to Causeway Road, has resulted in renewed conflict between the council and Clontarf residents.

Locals have objected to the appearance of the new poured concrete wall currently under construction in sections along the coast, and its height, which they say is considerably greater than they expected.

The council said they considered using a glass wall but it could triple the cost of the project to €15 million. There would also be “very significant” maintainance costs associated with vandalism of the glass panels.

“The cost of the glass panels is a multiple of the current flood alleviation measure,” the council said. “ The extra cost for a glass panel project would be €5 million to €10 million more than the current proposal, with no funding stream for it.”

It also said it has ruled out the possibility of using glass because there would be “ significant difficulty with it handling impacting waves” and it would involve rebuilding most of the existing sea wall.

The council said it followed the proper planning consultation procedures for the project. While the concrete rendering of the wall complies with the planning permission granted, it said, a change to the current finish is now under consideration.

Residents have been locked in a long-running battle with the council over construction of flood defences along the coast. The council secured planning permission from An Bord Pleanála in 2008 to build flood defences up to 2.75m involving earthen embankments and walls running from the beginning of the coastal promenade at Alfie Byrne Road towards the Wooden Bridge.

It could have gone ahead with the scheme, but following objections from locals, it offered to reduce the protective embankment to 2.17m, the lowest height permitted by An Bord Pleanála.

Despite an “extreme tidal event” in February 2002 and a less severe one in October 2004, both of which caused damage to Clontarf homes and businesses, the council said it received more than 2,000 submissions “virtually wholly opposed” to the project going ahead, even in its modified form. Locals had described the defences as a “cheap and nasty solution” and an “eyesore” .