Dublin Bay – polders and infilling
Sir, – There has been no shortage of hare-brained schemes for the infill and development of Dublin Bay over the years, but Harry Crosbie’s plan deserves full marks for imagination, if nothing else (Letters, June 21st).
He proposes the infill of a vast area of what he describes as “the unsightly tidal mud flats between the port and Clontarf”, obliterating a kilometre of seafront stretching from Alfie Byrne Road to Castle Avenue.
As a resident who lives 100 yards from these “mud flats”, I must inform Mr Crosbie that, far from being unsightly, at high tide the view from the Alfie Byrne Road end, towards the Pigeon House chimneys, is one of the most picture-perfect views in Dublin. The vast numbers of people who use this area as a recreational amenity all year round seem to have no objection to its aesthetic value, nor do the significant population of birds and other wildlife that depend on it as a habitat.
Can I suggest an alternative plan which may appeal to Mr Crosbie? An area which is crying out to be filled in for development is the Grand Canal Basin, immediately adjacent to Mr Crosbie’s residence on Hanover Quay. This area is not known for its sightliness, and in fact Waterways Ireland have discouraged recreational activity there due to what a 2017 report by the Environmental Protection Agency described as “high faecal coliform contamination” in the area.
Unlike the Clontarf seafront, the Grand Canal Basin is already surrounded on all sides by high-rise apartment and office buildings, so it is ideally suited for further development. There is also plenty of precedent in Dublin for the infill of parts of a canal, such as the development of the Royal Canal in the area around Phibsborough and the Broadstone in the 1920s.
According to your newspaper, Mr Crosbie applied to Dublin City Council earlier this year to turn his residence on Hanover Quay into “a four-star, 19-bedroom hotel with guest bars and dining areas looking onto the waterfront” (News, January 30th).
Given his enthusiasm for polders and infilling, and his apparent distaste for unsightly vistas, I’m sure Mr Crosbie would have no objection to sacrificing this waterfront view in order to bring about new development land for the city.
If property developers are willing to conduct large-scale development in other people’s backyards, they should be willing to develop in their own backyard as well. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – I enjoyed Harry Crosbie’s remarks on polders and the future of Dublin. He mentions the “Point Depot”, a new district of 300 “acres” and millions of “gallons” of diesel. So can we assume that Mr Crosbie wants the entire project costed and paid for in farthings, shillings and half-crowns? – Yours, etc,