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Thursday 8 June 2023 Dublin: 12°C
Sam Boal Newstalk host Pat Kenny
# Pat Kenny
Pat Kenny calls on local council to refuse Bullock Harbour scheme over multiple concerns
The scheme seeks the demolition and clearance of the existing industrial single storey warehouses and sheds.

BROADCASTER PAT KENNY has called on a Dublin local authority to refuse planning permission to redevelopment plans for Bullock Harbour near Dalkey “on multiple grounds”.

In a joint objection to the Bartra Property (Dublin) Ltd application with wife Kathy, the Newstalk presenter claims that the mixed use development would change Bullock Harbour’s “welcoming ambience utterly, forever”.

The Kennys state that Bullock Harbour is used extensively for marine activities “and is also a place where many people come to simply enjoy the view and the sea air”.

The new scheme for the former Western Marine Building, Bullock Harbour seeks the demolition and clearance of the existing industrial single storey warehouses and sheds.

The proposal includes the construction of a three storey building incorporating a cafe and one four bedroom apartment.

The scheme also includes a single storey seafood sales outlet, four fisherman’s huts, a new public square and three three storey detached houses.

The Kennys – who live nearby – state that the most concerning aspect of the scheme “is the ambition by the developers to provide residential accommodation in a location which is routinely affected by storms, most notably Storm Emma early in March 2018”.

In their objection lodged with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, the Kennys state that this storm was characterised as a one in eighty year storm “but we are all warned that storms of this intensity are much more likely to be more frequent because of climate change and global warming”.

They state that “therefore, to build new residential accommodation at this location would be putting people potentially in harm’s way” and that “the new flood mitigation measures are not persuasive”.

The Kenny objection points out that a Council commentary on flooding risk in the aftermath of Storm Emma advised a precautionary approach concerning storm/flooding risk.

It appears that Bartra’s desktop exercise grossly under-estimated the volume of over-topping water at the harbour, state the Kennys.

“Reality trumps theory every time,” they said.

According to the Kennys, the new development is substantially the same as the original scheme submitted in December 2017.

The original scheme subsequently secured permission from An Bord Pleanala but the permission was quashed by the High Court on consent in September 2020 following a local residents’ challenge that the Kennys supported.

The Kennys say that the new scheme fails to address Council concerns – specifically, the predominance of residential use and low percentage of marine related uses and that the development fails to respond to the unique context of the site and does not strengthen the special character and positive sense of place at Bullock Harbour.

The Kennys state: “We are ad idem with the Council on these points.”

Closing date for submissions was midnight on Wednesday and the Council has received over 100 submissions with more to be registered and others to make submissions include the Bullock Harbour Preservation Association (BHPA), the Dublin Port Company and scores of local residents.

The BHPA states that the scheme should be refused on four grounds arguing that it “would comprise an unacceptable hazard for future residents”.

On behalf of the Dublin Port company, the RPS Group echos the concerns of the Kennys and the BHPA concerning the potential risks to future residents from storm events.

RPS state that there has been little attempt by the applicant to address concerns previously raised by Dublin Port, the Council and an An Bord Pleanala inspector.

The Dublin Port objection states that “the nature and scale of the current scheme is considered to be unacceptable”.

However, documents lodged by Bartra state that the scheme has been informed by the objectives of removing “an eye sore” and creating “a landmark” mixed use scheme.

Advancing the Bartra case for the new scheme to the Council, a planning report lodged by DK Planning & Architecture contends that the proposal “represents a considerable investment which will greatly enhance the public realm at Bulloch”.

The report states that the mixed use development “is an appropriate design response to the constraints of this sensitive, infill coastal location” and“promotes a high quality architectural response to this scenic location at Bullock harbour”.

A decision is due on the scheme in early March.

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