Councillor Melisa Halpin writes:
Now, Mr Barrett has reinvented himself as Barrtra Capital and they have put in a proposal for a major development of the historic harbour of Bulloch near Dalkey.
This proposal has really annoyed the people of the area and the many users of the harbour. Nearly 500 people turned up to a public meeting in Killiney to voice their objections.
The proposal is for 6 x 3 storey maisonettes on the quay front where all development has been single storey until now. It also includes three enormous three storey villas with roof top gardens and parking spaces for their boats!
These villas look out over the sea – a view that used to be enjoyed by any member of the public who wanted to sit, walk or play on the rocks behind the harbour. The villas will block the view and the developers, who claim they own the rocks, are sure to block this area off from the public.
This crazy proposal raises the question as to how this could possibly be even contemplated. But if you look at the planning history of the site you see that in 2004 all but two councillors in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown rezoned the site, at the behest, it seems, of the then owner, from a zoning that would have protected the area as a public amenity to one that allows for pretty much any kind of development.
In 2009 when Richard Boyd Barrett was first elected to the Council he attempted to change the zoning back but only got the support of three other councillors. Clearly the old brown envelop politics and developer led planning was alive and well in Dun Laoghaire in the early 2000s. And now it is the people of the area who are going to have to pay for it with the loss of their access to this wonderful public amenity.
The people of Dun Laoghaire, Dalkey, Killiney have seen this movie before as developers have got their greedy paws on sections of the coastline.
In 2007 Save Our Seafront won a major victory over this plan to privatise the coast by stopping a 10 story apartment block on the Baths site. It was People Power that put paid to that madcap plan – we will need the same kind of movement if we want to protect Bulloch Harbour into the future.
Save Our Seafront are campaigning on this issue.If you would like to get involved check out FB or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org