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Senator Says Dun Laoghaire Cruise Ship Plans 'Not Dead in the Water Yet'

10th March 2018
An artist's impression provides an idea of what cruise ships might look like arriving into Dun Laoghaire harbour An artist's impression provides an idea of what cruise ships might look like arriving into Dun Laoghaire harbour Photo: Image by Dún Laoghaire BID (Business Improvement District) Company

In a further twist in the long running proposed cruise Line berth at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, An Bord Pleanála has written to Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company this week requesting them to furnish further information in relation to the effects on the environment of the proposed development. The board is also seeking further technical and scientific information on the project.

In effect, it means the board is still not in a position to make its determination on the Cruise Ship Project for the Dublin Bay Harbour that this week also saw its transfer into Council ownership move a step closer.

As regular Afloat.ie readers will know, a year ago Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) issued a statement on its cruise berth facility following a  court case decision in which environmental lobby group Save our Seafront, chaired by local TD Richard Boyd Barrett, 'won its legal action against the decision to grant planning permission for the Dún Laoghaire Cruise Terminal'.

This week's An Bord Pleanála request has drawn a swift response from Independent Senator, Victor Boyhan, who has expressed his concerns about the capacity of An Bord Pleanála to 'deliver planning decisions in a timely manner'. 

“In particular, I am concerned by its handling of the Dún Laoghaire Harbour cruise ship terminal project. A controversial development, by Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, which has proven to be a very divisive project.”

“An Bord Pleanála received more than 150 objections to the project and it was expected that it would announce its decision to grant, amend or refuse planning permission for the development in Dún Laoghaire Harbour by 8 January 2016.”

“It further extended the decision date to April and thereafter extended it again this time to 17 June 2016.”

“Local residents and harbour users who paid fees to engaged in the planning appeals process are frustrated by the inordinate delays, in what is supposed to be a ‘fast-track’ planning process.”

“In recent days, an Bord Pleanála ( Ref: 06D.PA0051 ( PA0042) 7th March 2018, has confirmed that it is still not in a position to make its determination on the Cruise Ship Project and has written to Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company requesting them to furnish further information in relation to the effects on the environment of the proposed development the board is also seeking further technical and scientific information on the project.”

“I am calling on An Bord Pleanála to explain why it has failed to reach a decision on the controversial proposal within the initial 18-week timeframe objective set by the board and to give reasons for the ongoing delays in this particular planning saga.”

“The government expanded the remit of an Bord Pleanála to fast-track certain planning projects, this planning application case highlights the need for a new and more professional approach to deal with planning appeals.” 

Boyhan says the case highlighted the need for a total review of the boards capacity to achieved its own planning timelines and targets.

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