The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company has proposed a €250 million redevelopment of Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Incredibly, the plan includes proposals for 300 multi-storey apartments. Clearly, the Harbour Company have not noticed that speculative property development caused the current economic crash. With hundreds of thousands of empty properties and ghost estates across the country the harbour company’s plan for more apartments is totally unacceptable and repeats all the mistakes of the Celtic Tiger era.
The example of the very similar and now collapsed Greystones Harbour development provides a stark warning of the dangers in such a proposal. Furthermore, this proposal will effectively privatise large sections of the harbour and ruin the character and heritage of this vital public amenity. Worryingly these plans have been put forward shortly after the McCarthy report on state assets recommended the sale of “some or all of the ports”.
There are, however, some aspects of the plans that are to be welcomed; the Diaspora Museum, leisure and cultural activities, marine services and enterprise, sporting events, and not least the possibility of new jobs. We will support all of the positive elements in this plan, but the proposal for 300 private multi storey apartments is completely unacceptable. Any plan for the harbour must maintain its character as a fully public amenity.
Furthermore, it must be integrated with sensible proposals for the more general redevelopment and revitalisation of Dun Laoghaire Town as a whole. Unfortunately, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company proposals fail in this regard.
Save Our Seafront has submitted a detailed response to the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company outlining our objections with a summary of our proposals and vision for the harbour and how it can play a role in revitalising the town. Save Our Seafront’s submission can be viewed at www.peoplebeforeprofit.ie