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Dublin City Council launches High Court challenge after it was refused planning for two new bridges

The council says the board’s decision means the costs of building the bridges will increase by between €25m and €42 million.

The site of one of the proposed new bridges.
The site of one of the proposed new bridges.
Image: Google Maps

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL (DCC) has launched a High Court challenge against An Bord Pleanala’s refusal to relocate two proposed cyclist and pedestrians bridges over the River Liffey.  

DCC has brought proceedings after the planning authority last November refused to allow the council to relocate the proposed bridges in an eastward direction and ordered that a third bridge be constructed.
 
The council says the board’s decision, which DCC wants quashed, means the costs of building the bridges will increase by between €25m and €42 million.

The two bridges, which will cost over €31 million to build, were originally included in a 2012 plan called the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Strategic Development Zone Planning Scheme.  

Permission for the planning scheme was approved by the board in 2014.

DCC originally wanted bridges built in-line with Forbes Street on the southside, which would be known as the Forbes Bridge, and one located to the east which would be in line with Castleforbes Street on the northside.

However, DCC sought to relocate the two proposed bridges on grounds including concerns that the new Forbes bridge may impact on the proposed DART underground development.  

The new locations would also mean the bridges could be built quicker and cheaper, would allow for additional quayside space for boats, and would improve north-south connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists.

DCC sought permission from ABP to move the Forbes Street bridge 150 metres so it would be in line between New Wapping Street on the north side to Blood Stoney Road, and would be renamed Blood Stoney Bridge.

DCC also proposed to move the eastern bridge 330 metres, renamed the Points Bridge, and put it close to Tom Clarke Bridge. 

In its decision, An Bord Pleanala refused DCC’s application to move the proposed bridges on grounds including that the original sites were appropriate locations, and would better serve the interests and amenities in the long-term.

The original locations for the bridges would serve cyclists and pedestrians and would alleviate congestion compared to the proposed locations, the board also found.

ABP also said in its ruling that as well as the two proposed bridges, an additional bridge immediately west of the existing Tom Clarke (formerly East Link) Bridge should be constructed.

DCC, represented in court by Stephen Dodd Bl,  is seeking an order from the High Court quashing the board’s decision of 5 November last not to allow the council relocate the proposed bridges and that a third bridge be constructed.

DCC is also seeking a declaration from the court that the board’s decision with regards to the proposed bridges was outside the planning authorities legal powers

Permission to bring the action against the planning authority was granted, on an ex-parte basis, by Mr Justice Richard Humphreys today.

The Judge made the matter returnable to a date in February. 

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About the author:

Aodhan O'Faolain & Ray Managh

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