Dublin Bay Infill

 

Sir, - Given Dublin's chaotic traffic problems, it is unacceptable that the Dublin Port Company, formally called the Dublin Port and Docks Board, with its long history of irresponsible management of its land resources should now be permitted to reclaim a further 21 hectares of Dublin Bay.

Thirty three years ago, in his Report on Regional Planning, Myles Wright advised the Government that "a commission of enquiry should be appointed with representatives of Dublin Corporation and the Docks Authority meeting under an independent chairman, to report to the Minister and any regional planning organisation which might be formed." No such enquiry has been held. Dublin Port has been allowed to expand in an ad hoc manner to the detriment of the environmental rights of 300,000 people who live around Dublin Bay.

I welcome Minister Fahey's Dail statement of February 10th "that new statutory arrangements are clearly required to provide for the integrated management of the greater coastal zone in the greater Dublin area ..."

I would like to point out that the need for such integrated planning was made clear 22 years ago by Dr Brian Meehan, a town planning consultant, when he was giving evidence at the Dublin Bay Special Amenity Area Order public enquiry.

In the light of the Government's National Development Plan 2000-2006 and its emphasis on the need for regional development, it seems incongruous that Minister Fahey should state that "we are anxious to allow Dublin port to proceed with its development ..." instead of saying that it should enter into a joint venture with an East Coast Harbour Authority to develop a deep port facility for its container business. Two in-depth studies have shown that an East Coast deep port facility is feasible. Such a decision would greatly relieve Dublin's traffic problems.

Under Section 44(1)(a) of the Harbours Act 1996, Mr Fahey has the power to direct the Dublin Port Company to enter into a joint venture with another Harbour Authority.

Eleven years ago Minister Daly turned down an application from the Dublin Port and Docks Board to reclaim the exact 21 hectares of Dublin Bay. He told the Board to "come up with a co-ordinated plan for the whole area for the foreseeable future" and also that it must consult with the residents association. It has done neither.

I call on Minister Fahey to reject the Dublin Port Company's re-application and tell it to go back to the drawing board and to consult with all those who would be affected by its proposals. - Yours, etc., Sean Dublin Bay Loftus BL,

Clontarf, Dublin 3.