AN BORD Pleanála has decided to hold an oral hearing into a planning application for an €18m cruise berth facility at Dún Laoghaire Harbour.
The news has been warmly welcomed by the Save Our Seafront (SOS) group and councillors opposed to the plan.
As reported in Southside People, a planning application for the development was submitted in July by Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company on behalf of the Dún Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group. As it’s a strategic infrastructure project, the application went straight to An Bord Pleanála instead of going through the normal local authority planning process.
Plans for the facility have been developed to allow Dún Laoghaire Harbour to accommodate next generation cruise ships.
The Dún Laoghaire Stakeholder Group is made up of Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and the Dún Laoghaire Bid Company.
The application submitted to An Bord Pleanála is seeking the construction of a 435 metre pier with an underpass to cater for the passage of club launches.
It proposes to dredge an access channel from outside the harbour to St Michael’s Pier, including a 500m diameter turning circle outside the harbour mouth.
The Save Our Seafront group has put forward its own alternative plan for the harbour. It described An Bord Pleanála’s decision to hold an oral hearing on the application as “a fantastic result” and paid tribute to those who had put in submissions on the matter.
Cllr Victor Boyhan (Ind) also welcomed the board’s decision. At a recent meeting of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, councillors supported a motion tabled by Cllr Boyhan calling for an oral hearing to be held into the cruise berth project.
He said: “The board has absolute discretion whether to hold an oral hearing of any strategic infrastructure development case. I welcome the board’s decision in this instance and look forward to participating in the oral hearing process.”
Cllr Boyhan claimed that An Bord Pleanála received 150 submissions in relation to the application.
An Bord Pleanála has advised that a preliminary meeting will take place on October 7, with a full oral hearing being held on October 14.