Who would live here?

by Rebecca Ryan
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THERE are waves of concern over proposed residential developments at Bulloch Harbour after severe flooding during Storm Emma.


It comes as a video was posted online on the Dalkey Tidy Towns Facebook page showing high waves crashing into the harbour.


The group have raised concerns over proposed plans to redevelop the harbour near Dalkey by Bartra Capital Property Group which include two apartments and three large houses, a building workshop for “traditional timber boats”, a public square, a cafe, community changing facilities and new units for existing businesses, including boat rentals.


Des Burke-Kennedy of Dalkey Tidy Towns told Dublin Gazette what happened.


“With some of the most damaging seas in living memory, the 200-year-old Bullock Harbour was pounded by Storm Emma tidal waves.


“Some created overtopping at roughly 60ft above the old Western Marine building. This in turn caused extensive flooding as the old drainage system was completely overwhelmed.


“The Harbour quays were also damaged, and one piece of hand cut granite estimated to weigh about 8 tons was thrown from the jetty up on to the quay area! Some cast iron benches were also destroyed. Inspectors from Dublin Port Company has already visited the area and will report on the overall damage shortly.”


He said the plans for residential development at the harbour is an ongoing saga.


“Twice over the past year, Bartra Development sought Planning Permission to construct Apartments and three large three-storey houses at this area hit hardest by not just Storm Emma but by regular seasonal storms over the years.


“The planners refused permission on both occasions. Between the two applications, over 700 observations were lodged by the public expressing their opposition to the plans submitted.


“Those who oppose construction at this location feel very strongly that as a significant historical site it is just not suitable for residential development. Storm Emma proved why this is so.”


He told us what some locals would like to see happening.


“As this mediaeval harbour site is of considerable historical significance and Dalkey is a Heritage Town, many believe that this site should now be taken in to public ownership and then developed with public marine-based activities, clubs, tourist facilities, changing rooms, etc.”


Councillor Michael Merrigan has already been in touch with the planning authority about concerns he has of the proposed development, including flooding issues.


Some of the concerns he submitted included the site being “exposed to high seas, overtopping waves and storms causing flooding”, the site being “susceptible to serious flood risk, to grant development here would be in breach of government guideline and best international practice”


He also submitted concerns that Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, and its commercial ratepayers and its Local Property Taxpayers, and Dublin Port Company could “potentially be exposed to significant and ongoing financial liabilities associated with providing flood damage/relief measures associated with this site in the future” and that homeowners could potentially be deprived of insurance which could “render the properties worthless and simultaneously drive up the cost of insuring all properties in the areas adjacent to the Harbour.”


Some locals reacted to flooding concerns after the video on Dalkey Tidy Towns Facebook page was posted, which read: “Ridiculous to think that this site is suitable for apartments /houses – and what insurance company would be crazy enough to take on the risks!”


“Those apts would be washed into the harbour!” “This should be sent to An Bord Planala and DLR CoCo. It is incumbent on the planning bodies to prevent this development.”
“Perfect place to build million euro homes.” “Local people always know best regarding the history of this Harbour and the developers and the planning authorities should take heed”


We contacted Bartra Capital Property Group but received no reply before going to print.

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