Revised plan for Bulloch Harbour development to be filed today
Opposition almost certain despite new plan to scale back residential aspect, says group
Susan McDonnell, of the Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association, councillor Melisa Halpin, and Richard Boyd Barrett TD, at a public meeting in January on the proposed development at Bulloch Harbour Dalkey. Photograph: Eric Luke
New plans are to be filed today for a residential and commercial development on Dalkey’s picturesque Bulloch Harbour 10 months after a similar, controversial scheme was refused permission.
Bartra Capital Ltd, founded by developer Richard Barrett, will submit a revised vision for the small fishing harbour which includes a cafe, “marine leisure” facilities, detached houses and apartments.
The developer says it has taken seven months to consider the views of stakeholders and local residents and believes it has arrived at a “very good scheme”.
However, the Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association (BHPA), which rallied support for a campaign of opposition last January, says despite the new plans having “a nod” toward the community, further opposition is almost certain.
The previously unsuccessful bid prompted public meetings and was ultimately rejected by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council in February.
Although planning will officially be lodged today, a site notice appeared at the harbour yesterday afternoon, outlining the plan.
It has scaled back the residential aspect from nine overall units to five, made up of three detached houses and two apartments.
There are also plans to include a craft boat building workshop and storage facility, a seafood sales outlet and a public square fronting on to the harbour.
It would see the provision of a cafe and the relocation of a number of existing marine units.
However, while changes have been made to what had previously been regarded by objectors as an excessively residential scheme, the revised plans are unlikely to quell immediate concerns.
“The three large residencies are a huge issue. They are going to impose heavily on the area,” PJ Drudy, secretary of the BHPA, said not long after details of the plans emerged yesterday.
“That is little difference from the original plan as far as we can see.”
Mr Drudy said the scheme would still be out of character with the surrounding buildings – a concern that was broadly echoed earlier this year with a specific emphasis on its threat to the traditional and historical value of the small postcard inlet, popular with tourists and other visitors.
“There will be huge disruption to existing businesses. There is no question but that people will be deeply disturbed by this and opposed,” Mr Drudy said. Of a well attended community meeting last January, he said: “It’s likely that something of that nature could take place again.”
Weigh up the views
For its part, Bartra Capital is keen to demonstrate it has taken concerns on board. Grainne Hollywood, development and construction director, said it had used the time since the previous refusal to weigh up the views of all stakeholders, including the council, its public representatives and residents. They are now confident they have arrived at a “very good scheme”.
Last time around, almost 300 formal objections to the development proposal were filed with the local authority.
Bartra had stressed it intended to provide a scheme of development that was “both respectful and enhancing of the harbour and the local environment”.
In its decision to refuse permission, the council said the site area reserved for residential use was excessive and the design had inadequate provision for its marine-related aspects, issues that appear to have been taken into consideration in the latest application.