Corina Johnston, Labour Party Area Representative is calling on Fingal County Council to carry out emergency works to save the Beach Lane access road (in Portrane) to 12 homes and public right of way.
Johnston said: “Deputy Duncan Smith and I have been calling for the Seabees to be extended from the corner of the Beach Lane access road up past the public right of way, which is accessed by fishermen and bird watchers in recent years.
“The situation has become critical in recent days with coastal erosion taking metres from the dunes along this stretch of beach and washing away the dunes at one point undermining the access road and making it virtually impassible.”
Johnston added;” I visited the area in recent weeks and met with residents who are fearful they will no longer be able to access their homes before too long especially with the high tides and winter season upon us with no coastal protection measures in place.” Coastal erosion has been evidenced in this particular area for quite some time.
“The public right of way to the beach has also been undermined with a huge drop now from the right of way to the beach which is unsafe and unstable. It is evident that if nothing is done now to safeguard the access road, it will soon become impassible – and the public right of way will be diminished further and will disappear into the sea.”
Johnston continued: “A number of months ago, our motion calling on the council to compulsory purchase order the access road was passed at a council meeting. While discussions had been ongoing with a landowner to provide an alternative access to the lane, these discussions have ended without an agreement.
“The council need to immediately commence the CPO process to ensure the future viability of the entire access road.”
Johnston concluded; “Duncan and I have highlighted the seriousness of the situation with the CEO of Fingal County Council and Minister Darragh O’Brien this week and requested that this matter be given urgent priority and an assessment be carried out at this location with the Seabees extended to ensure the future viability of the road and the public right of way.”
Fingal County Council responded: “During 2018 and 2019 and as an interim measure, 1km of ‘Seabee’ concrete units were installed in an optimal position in two phases along Burrow Beach. These Seabees were designed to reduce and delay coastal erosion and were put in place approximately 10m from the dune face until a feasible and effective long-term solution is implemented.
“FCC continuously monitors and re-adjusts these Seabees to ensure that they continue to provide protection to the Portrane peninsula and reports of further erosion will be investigated by the council,” said the council spokesperson who assured the Gazette that preventing further erosion and stabilizing the area was a priority for FCC.
“Proposals for a permanent solution which involves the construction of Sea Groynes along the beach which will inhibit the movement of sand away from this beach and therefore provide protection from coastal erosion are currently being prepared together with the necessary environmental assessments with an application to be submitted to An Bord Pleanála next year.”
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