Update Regarding Sea Wall - Letter to Councillors
Last Thursday 11th February, we issued an update from the Clontarf Residents’ Association in which the CRA explained there had been little progress made in regards to the situation with the Sea Wall.
The CRA noted they would be sending a letter (from themselves, the CBA, Dublin Bay Watch & Save Our Seafront) to the Councillors in the last number of days, which you will find below which dates 11th February 2016.
On the 11th November 2015 there was a special sitting of Dublin City Council to discuss the S2S Interim Works: Bull Wall to Causeway Road. At that meeting you, our Elected Representatives, passed a unanimous resolution, copy below, which in essence called on DCC to engage with the local community and to resolve the issues with the development.
We have continued with the process in as open a manner as possible with a view to achieving a resolution that addresses the needs of both sides. However, there has been a distinct lack of progress on the part of your paid officials to move this process along or to engage genuinely with us.
Yesterday, 10th February 2016, two things happened that meant we could no longer sit back and wait for DCC to show such engagement.
Firstly, the Contractors commenced work on constructing the ramp on the Causeway Road. The Causeway Road is situated entirely within the protected area and work at this time is expressly forbidden under the relevant planning permissions and EU directives. Furthermore, they have done so without erecting any screening, which might have had some, albeit minimal, mitigating effects.
Secondly, the Consultant appointed by DCC, without any engagement with the local community groups, to examine the issue of flood defence heights has finally submitted his draft report – almost 4 weeks later than anticipated. While receipt of the report of Dr Jimmy Murphy is welcomed, and from a cursory overview the report looks quite comprehensive, the instruction that came with it that the consultant was available to meet at 12 noon on Friday the 19th of February, i.e., simultaneous with the next proposed meeting with DCC, was not welcome as it does not comply with his terms of reference.
In addition, you ought to be aware that the belatedly established Environmental Monitoring and Liaison Committee and the Public Engagement Forum have had one meeting only, on 16th December last, and that DCC has failed to provide information promised to the Committee at those meetings.
We understand that the City Manager intends to continue work on the wall commencing on the 1st of April next irrespective of our stated issues and concerns. It appears that no regard is being paid to the resolution of 11th November that (i) we are to be given an input in the flood defence project and (ii) remaining critical issues would be resolved by consultation.
DCC has not engaged in any real sense with our efforts to resolve the issues; they have not responded in any material way to much of our correspondence and in many instances they have simply failed to respond at all. Details in relation to each of these issues is provided in the attached Appendix.
The area in question, as part of the seafront surrounding Dublin Bay SPA, is an integral part of the SPA and is of national and international importance under the European Habitats Directive. It is the only UNESCO Biosphere in the world that is situated entirely within a capital city. The Bull Island, as it is commonly known, is unique and has been a world biosphere reserve since 1981. It is also one of the top twenty sites in Ireland for wintering birds.
The elected representatives of Dublin City Council, the City Manager and his officials, as well as the people of the area have a duty of care and moral responsibility to ensure that this area of beauty and amenity is protected into the future. We should not have to fight with those charged with its protection to see it preserved.
We are sending this correspondence to the City Manager and other relevant DCC officials and demand an immediate response.
We ask that you, our Councillors, intervene at this point and:
1. enforce a genuine engagement by DCC with the process,
2. insist that works on the Causeway Road in the Lagoon cease with immediate effect, and
3. insist on written confirmation from the City Manager that works on the wall will not recommence until agreement on the height and finish is reached with the community groups, as provided for in your resolution of 11th November 2015.
Clontarf Residents’ Association, Clontarf Business Association, Dublin Bay Watch, Save Our Seafront
Copy: Mr Owen Keegan, Mr Declan Wallace, Mr Dave Dinnigan, Dublin City Council
Mr George Ryan, Chairman, Environmental Monitoring and Liaison Committee
Dublin City Councillors Resolution of 11th November 2015
That this City Council calls upon the CEO of Dublin City Council to immediately commit to fully implementing all the planning conditions set by the planning authorities including An Bord Pleanala, in respect of the Sutton to Sandycove Cycleway & Footway Interim Works: Bull Wall (Wooden Bridge) to Causeway Road.
Furthermore we call on Dublin City Council to:
- Commit that any finished flood defence will adequately protect the UNESCO Biosphere in accordance with all national and international guidelines;
- Engage with the local community and all relevant stakeholders to give them a say in ensuring that this and any other future flood defence project does not impact on either the visual or environmental amenity any more than is absolutely necessary to protect present and future generations from flooding risk.
- Reverse any building to date that does not fulfil these requirements immediately;
- Use the down-period in barrier construction over the winter months to further consult intensively directly with local residents and with community groups regarding the Flood Defence element and resolve any remaining issues and further to prepare and deliver accurate and comprehensive visuals/imaging of the completed scheme, incorporating any agreed changes.