Public consultation opens on plans to fix former Bray dump

Landfill to be the subject of €2m containment to stop further waste materials spilling onto the beach and ending up in the sea

An  assessment   by Wicklow County Council estimated the waste in the former landfill could be as much as 48,000 cubic metres in volume. Photograph: Getty Images

An assessment by Wicklow County Council estimated the waste in the former landfill could be as much as 48,000 cubic metres in volume. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Public consultation has opened on plans to contain a former dump which has been falling into the sea on the border of counties Dublin and Wicklow for more then a decade.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council plans to spend more than €2 million on a scheme which will see the former Bray landfill remain in place, while rock armour and coastal protection will be installed along the cliff face and on the beach north of Bray harbour.

The containment is aimed at preventing further waste materials spilling onto the beach and ending up in the sea, a feature which was reported by the environmental group Coastwatch as far back as 2005.

The council, which has assumed lead responsibility for the clean-up, said the area, from the harbour to south of Woodbrook Golf Club, was “an area of shoreline that was formerly used as an historic landfill site” .

The council said the exact period of use of the dump was not known, but it closed in 1968.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Coastal Defence Strategy Study recommended in 2010 that material from the dump should be removed or prevented from falling into the sea.

The council said a subsequent risk assessment from consultants Fehily Timoney found the site was “low risk”, and recommended “long-term coastal erosion protection” to prevent material spilling onto the shore.

The council now proposes to build a coastal erosion protection project, and is seeking comments as part of the process.

Exposed waste

A previous assessment carried out by Wicklow County Council estimated the waste could amount to as much as 48,000 cubic metres in volume. The assessment concluded that the main environmental impact of the former landfill was limited to the visual intrusion of the exposed waste within the cliff face on the coastline, and at the top of the cliff.

Cllr Cormac Devlin, a Fianna Fáil general election candidate for Dún Laoghaire, said the council, the Environmental Protection Agency and Wicklow County Council had been working on the plan for a long time.

He said waste material had been entering the water over a prolonged period, and he was “pleased that this plan is now out on public display”. He encouraged the local community “to view the plans and to engage with the consultation process before the deadline of December 14th”.