Broadcaster Pat Kenny and local residents have emerged victorious in the latest round of the battle to prevent redevelopment plans for Bulloch Harbour near Dalkey.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has refused planning permission to Richard Barrett’s Bartra Property (Dublin) Ltd for a mixed use scheme for the harbour.
Newstalk presenter Kenny is the most prominent opponent of the scheme and urged the Council in a joint objection with wife, Kathy to refuse planning permission on multiple grounds.
In the long-running planning saga, the Council has now done this in a comprehensive rejection of the Bartra scheme after the Kennys stated that the mixed use development would change Bulloch Harbour’s “welcoming ambience utterly, forever”.
'Common sense approach'
On Thursday, Pat and Kathy Kenny welcomed the Council’s decision.
In a joint statement, they stated that the decision “is both multi-faceted and rigorously argued”.
The Kennys said: “It also reflects a common sense approach, as had been advocated by many of the objectors. Hopefully, if it is appealed to An Bord Pleanála, the board will concur with the Council’s conclusions.”
The Kennys stated that the Council refusal “might serve as a timely warning to those who buy difficult sites on spec and attempt to get planning for inappropriate development”.
Over 140 objections were lodged against the scheme and those to object included the Dalkey Community Council, Dublin Port Company and Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association.
Grounds for refusal
The Council’s grounds of refusal this time include flood risk which did not feature in the previous planning refusal for a Bartra scheme at the harbour in February 2018.
The Council pointed out that the proposed development is located in an area which has been identified as potentially liable to flood events and significant wave overtopping. It stated that the proposed development has not included adequate measures to minimise flood risk.
The local authority also refused planning permission after concluding that the amount of site area reserved for residential use "is excessive and seriously compromises the achievement of a quality mixed use and integrated development" with adequate and appropriate provision for waterfront, marine and harbour related activities. It said there is a significant imbalance and predominance of residential use in the proposal.
After an 80-page planner’s report into the scheme recommending refusal, the local authority concluded that as a result of the predominance of residential use, the development would seriously compromise the harbour’s ability to attract and maintain good marine related uses and harbour activities.
The Council also refused planning permission after concluding that the scheme fails therefore to respond appropriately to the unique site context, which requires a high quality, distinctive and integrated mixed use design approach.
In their objection, the Kennys - who live nearby - stated 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”.
The 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 also includes the construction of a three-storey building incorporating a café and one four-bedroom apartment. It also comprises a single storey seafood sales outlet, four fisherman's huts, a new public square and three three-storey detached houses.
The Council previously refused planning permission for substantially the same application in 2018.
An Bord Pleanála granted permission on appeal by Bartra and this decision was quashed by the High Court on consent in September 2020 following a local residents’ challenge that the Kennys supported.
A spokesman for Bartra declined to comment on the Council decision.