Dublin Port lands must not be "reallocated" by Dublin City Council for uses not associated with strategic port activities, business representative group Ibec has said.
Ibec was responding to a decision by the council this week to enable the use of port lands for “film, TV and digital content production studios”in the new Poolbeg Strategic Development Zone (SDZ).
A 15-hectare combined site in the new zone – the former Glass Bottle Company and Fabrizia lands, not owned by Dublin Port Company, has been designated for the construction of 3,500 apartments.
The council voted to zone part of the port company’s lands as “mixed use” to allow “commercial, creative and industrial” uses. The port company has said it intends to keep the lands for port activities only.
Ibec chief executive Danny McCoy said it was “vital” that nothing was done that would create uncertainty around the future development of port lands.
“Dublin Port is an infrastructure asset of national strategic importance and it is vital that its development is preserved for the primary purpose of facilitating Ireland’s trading sector,” he said
“Brexit is bringing considerable uncertainty to Ireland’s future trading relationship with the UK which may result in changes to customs procedures, requiring new infrastructure investment at our ports. It is vital that we don’t add to this uncertainty by planning changes that restrict the future development of our ports.”
Ibec was supportive of the media and the film sectors, but Mr McCoy said the council should look elsewhere to provide new capacity for these enterprises.
“It is necessary from a wider economic and business perspective that Dublin Port maintains full autonomy over decisions relating to the future development of its lands. In addition, Dublin City Council should assist investors in media and film sectors to locate alternative and more suitable sites within the city.”
Dublin Bay Studios, headed by Windmill Lane Studios founder James Morris and film producer Alan Moloney, had lobbied the council for inclusion in the SDZ. The construction of a film studio on the land would require the agreement of the port company.