A DUBLIN architect is one of three parties to appeal planning permission for a floating pontoon at Lower Ormond Quay to An Bord Pleanála because of the impact it would have on the view of the Ha’penny Bridge from the River Liffey “one of the most iconic in Dublin”.
Patrick Shaffrey of Shaffrey Architects says this view of the bridge is “one of the essential Dublin images transmitted all over the world”.
In April, Dublin City Council granted Irish Ship and Barge Fabrication Co Ltd planning permission for the venture. The pontoon, a 120-metre “floating street”, would be cobbled and positioned off the Liffey Boardwalk. The proposal is that visitors will be able to sit at tables on the pontoon, and order coffee from two former Guinness barges refurbished as a café and restaurant. The pontoon will be part of a €9 million plan to rescue and restore four 80ft former Guinness barges from the sea off the coast of Northern Ireland. Some of the barges will operate cruises on the Liffey, while a separate fleet of ferries will collect and drop off passengers at 12 points on the river.
An Taisce has also appealed the proposal saying that, while the initiative to revive the former Guinness barges is welcome and would increase activity on the river, it is premature pending the “City Quays Framework Plan”.
It says over the past number of years there has been “a non-stop onslaught of controversial proposals or plans for the Liffey”, including the Suas cable car, a giant steel sculpture in the river beside the Seán O’Casey Bridge and the “flying saucer” proposed for over the Clarence Hotel.
“The proposed development would be contrary to Dublin City Council’s policies for a new development in conservation areas and would adversely impact on the setting of the protected structure, the Ha’penny Bridge,” says the appeal.
TASCQ (Traders in the Area Supporting the Cultural Quarter Limited) say this part of the river regularly has low levels of water and the logical place to put the pontoon is below Butt Bridge where “the water is deep and the river adequately wide”. It says the narrowest point of the Liffey, down-river of O’Donovan Rossa Bridge, is at the bend in the river where the pontoon is proposed.
“The concentrated bulk of the pontoon and the moored boats, intruding 20 metres in the river, will cause obstruction and congestion for other river users.”