It has been revealed that the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has withdrawn its application for a cruise ship terminal for Dun Laoghaire harbour.
In a letter addressed to Senator Victor Boyhan, An Bord Pleanala says the eight year permit to construct the berth has formally been pulled.
The original planning application by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company aimed to accommodate cruise ships of up to 340 metres long, at a berth extending 435 metres.
In November 2016, ABP granted permission for the construction of the controversial cruise ship berth that could facilitate a vessel up to 250 metres – slightly smaller than the original application.
However, in 2017 a High Court judicial review found issues with the project.
ABP then asked Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company to address the problems raised and relisted the application.
The harbour has since been taken over by the local authority and councillors were told there was no funds available for the €5 million urban beach, a €51 million diaspora centre and a €30 million cruise berth facility.
A progress report to councillors indicated that about €1 million had been spent on the cruise berth plan, of which €250,000 was provided by the council.
“DLR decision to withdraw the planning application for a massive cruise ship terminal in Dun Laoghaire makes absolute sense,” says Boyhan, a member of the Joint Oireachtas committee on Planning.
“Lessons have to be learnt from this crazy plan that if it went ahead would have destroyed the heritage harbour and its environs.”
Boyhan says that although the plan has been shelved, it has come at a steep price.
“Huge costs have been incurred by the state owned Harbour Company and now the council,” he says.
“Questions will have to be asked about this crazy project, answers demanded, and people held to account for their actions.
“I want to thank all the people who signed up and took action to stop the giant cruise ship terminal project – It’s a great day for people power – albeit expensive.
“The decision by the Council’s Executive to withdraw the application for this outlandish monstrosity is to be welcomed,” says Independent councillor Michael Merrigan.
Fine Gael councillor Patricia Stewart supports the decision to withdraw the application as does People Before Profit councillor Melisa Halpin.
“I favoured it (the plans), but the smaller version,” says Stewart.
“33 million is required on repair and maintenance and that has to come first.
“Unfortunately, the council has absolutely no way of funding it currently. I hope they’ll be in a position at a later date.”
“This is a long time coming,” says Halpin.
“They had a deadline of 1 April to submit a new plan but failed to do so,” she says.
“It was wasting public funds and would have been a disaster for the environment.”