Harbours to go back to public ownership

by Emma Nolan

BULLOCH and Sandycove Harbours may be brought back into public ownership following a unanimous decision by the council.
Councillors will now open talks with the Dublin Port Company to acquire the entirety of Sandycove Harbour and the elements of Bulloch Harbour not owned by Bartra Capital, a property company.
Bartra failed to get permission in February for its controversial plans to build a multi-unit Costa Del Sol-style development (pictured) on the harbour.
The plans faced a strong backlash from locals, who at the time said that the proposed structure would “deprive the community of public amenities”.
“These plans would destroy one of the last small working harbours on the coast around Dublin and seriously curtail its use as a public amenity,” the Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association told The Gazette in February.
The plans were rejected by the council’s planning department, much to the relief of locals.
This month’s council meeting sought to arrange a meeting between the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and the Dublin Port company, which it is hoped will allow for the discussion of a master plan for the Sandycove and Bulloch harbour areas.
However, such a plan cannot be considered by any planning authority unless it is submitted by the owners of the land being considered for development – this is why councillors want to take ownership of the land.
Cllr Deirdre Kingston (Lab) said: “Bulloch Harbour is an incredible amenity for the Dun Laoghaire area and it is really important that it is protected into the future.
“The planning application that was submitted for the Western Marine site [by Bartra] was found by the planning authority to seriously compromise the harbour’s ability to attract and maintain marine related uses.
“A master plan, while welcome, does not allow a planning authority to prepare a master plan for privately owned land. That is why it is so important that the site is brought into public ownership so that the public can get the most and best use out of the harbour.”

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