Docklands film studio and the Dublin Port Company

Sir, – The interview with James Morris about his proposal to build Dublin Bay Studios in the Poolbeg West Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) is quite extraordinary ("Docklands film studio should go ahead, say Poolbeg backers", December 19th). Mr Morris states that the studios he proposes "would not have to be located on the old glass bottle site, but could be anywhere in the 84-acre zone . . . If there is the will to do it, there is room to accommodate the residential housing, the port-related activities and the studios".

Half of the SDZ’s 84 acres is owned by Dublin Port Company and is not for sale. The other half, which includes the glass bottle site, is controlled by Nama.

The Dublin Bay Studios proposal needs to be seen for what it is – a good old-fashioned attempted land-grab. It has all the elements you would expect: a glossy promotional brochure; the promise of an impressive number of jobs; celebrity endorsements from Bono and Cillian Murphy; and an international exemplar (Montreal’s Cité du Cinéma).

The Montreal exemplar reminds me of the Helsinki model, which was a justification for the last daft notion that port lands needed to be redeveloped. This was when the Progressive Democrats' 2005 A New Heart for Dublin report suggested that the lands of Dublin Port could be sold for €25 billion, with port activities moving to a new port built near Balbriggan.


There are many locations where film studios can be built. There is only one Dublin Port, and no port lands are or will be available for Dublin Bay Studios.

Dublin City Council will publish a draft planning scheme for public consultation in January. Thereafter, the final planning scheme will be brought to An Bord Pleanála.

We will develop Dublin Port’s lands within the SDZ exclusively for port uses.

We should not allow the principles of proper planning to be subverted by the fanciful idea that the only viable location for a large film studio development is on the Poolbeg peninsula. – Yours, etc,


Chief Executive,

Dublin Port Company,

Port Centre,

Alexandra Road, Dublin 1.