Agreement to Reduce Wall Height in Jeopardy
Below is an update from the CRA about the December 2017 council meeting which took place on Monday 4th. We would encourage all residents to read to ensure they are up to date with the current situation of the seawall.
It is with great regret that we must draw resident’s attention to an extraordinary turn of events that occurred at last Monday nights Monthly Meeting (December 4th) of Dublin City Council (DCC).
Mr Owen Keegan, Chief Executive of DCC, presented his report on the planning application to reduce the height of the seawall at James Larkin Road. In his report, he recommended to Councillors NOT to reduce the wall height. This recommendation effectively reneges on the agreement reached between DCC, our elected Councillors and the local community.
At that same meeting, Mr Keegan also submitted a resolution which effectively requires the Councillors to vote against his recommendation in order to honour the agreement made by his officials.
This led to a lot of confusion amongst the Councillors. Notably, the Lord Mayor remarked that it was an unusual situation where the Chief Executive was presenting a resolution contrary to his own recommendation. Despite this obvious contradiction, Mr Keegan repeatedly tried to maintain that he was giving effect to the agreement reached with the local community.
In view of this confusion, the Council voted to refer the matter back to the Local Area Committee Meeting on the 18th of December and to defer final decision to the Monthly Council Meeting on the 8th of January 2018.
Mr Keegan has demonstrated a complete lack of regard for the consultative process which was established by the Councillors at the end of 2015 and was entered into in good faith by the community.
You can view the webcast by clicking here. Please note that many of the issues raised by the Councillors on Monday were not clarified by Mr Keegan at the meeting. For example:
- The level of reduction in wall height that was agreed was based on independent expert scientific advice obtained by DCC
- The area in question is opposite parkland and DCCs own officials had confirmed that the Park can contain any flood water that might arise if an extreme weather event occurred.
- The reduction in wall height has nothing to do with motorist’s views. The reduction is intended to re-establish the visual link between the Park and the Biosphere, the importance of which was noted by An Bord Pleanála in their permission for these works. The loss of the visual amenity to wheelchair users and walkers in the Park is of particular concern.
- The requirement to clad the wall is an unmet condition of the original An Bord Pleanála permission for these works.
- The wall is currently built to more than four different heights. Some sections of wall are above the height allowable in the existing planning permission. Some sections are below the height belatedly established for Health and Safety purposes. One section reflects the height following the reduction of 300mm agreed with the community. If Mr Keegan succeeds in reneging on the agreement, DCC will still have to undertake work to reduce the sections that are too high, increase the sections that are too low and incur the associated costs.
We will be briefing the Councillors in full on all of the facts relating to this planning application and the agreement that was reached with DCC.
We will issue a further update following the Local Area Meeting and the January Council meeting.
Residents who are not familiar with the background to this matter may wish to check out some of our previous posts by clicking here.
In the meantime, we can be contacted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org