Building on Sandymount Strand
Sir, – I know it’s the first week in August but the proposed development of Dublin Bay really sets off the media silly season (“Reclaim Sandymount Strand for apartments, says architect”, News, August 6th).
No mention in the proposals of that little matter of climate change and rising sea levels. Building on flood plains is only in the halfpenny place in comparison. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – While reading the article on reclaiming Sandymount Strand and the Tolka estuary for building apartments there were a few red flags that stood out to me.
The Dublin Bay area is a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, one of only two such designated sites in Ireland.
We should be looking to keep such an important ecosystem as protected and pristine as possible.
Given the current climate, environmental impact and any issues caused by such development should be at the forefront of any planning, yet that does not seem to be the case here.
The current high likelihood of much stronger winter storms and rising sea levels in the near future should surely count as “insurmountable” environmental issues when building on an estuary, which David Browne, the president of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, appears to dismiss.
Finally much reliance on, and authority for, the development is drawn from the Abercrombie plan, published 100 years ago. The climate crisis that we face today, paired with our duty to protect our natural heritage in Ireland, are more than enough reasons to dismiss this for what it is, fanciful Victorian planning repackaged as a solution to today’s housing issues.
We should be looking to build higher in the city rather than ravage internationally important conservation areas. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Reading about the 100-year-old proposal to build on reclaimed land to the east of Dublin City, did any of the modern-day people proposing this idea consider global warming and rising sea levels?
A protective dyke would have to be built, at enormous cost, to protect these housing developments. Who would pay for that? Undoubtedly the proposers of this scheme think that the taxpayer should pay.
There isn’t a shortage of land to build on in Ireland but there seems to be a shortage of common sense among our decision-makers.
There is plenty of land well above any projected sea-level rises to the west of Dublin on which high-density but quality housing and village centres could be built.
There is also zero reason why many of the jobs which are currently being squeezed into the docklands couldn’t have been located to the west of the city, other than resistance to the idea among decision-makers.
Rising sea levels are inevitable. Building houses on land guaranteed to be under sea-level in the not-too-distant future needn’t be. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – I am writing to support the excellent idea to build apartments on Sandymount Strand.
But why stop there? St Stephen’s Green is sitting idle in the centre of Dublin when, with a little imagination, it could provide numerous high-rise housing blocks and maybe a multistorey car park to boot! – Yours, etc,