Thursday 26 June 2008

Dublin docklands €4.5bn expansion plan goes on show

A €4.5 billion plan for the further development of Dublin's docklands has been put on display for public consultation.

The master plan by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) includes proposals for high-rise buildings, thousands of new apartments, major architectural set pieces and cultural landmarks. The plan, which covers the period 2008 to 2013, proposes up to eight 20-storey towers along Dublin's seafront as part of a policy of allowing higher densities, particularly near public transport routes.

It also envisages not only the extension of the Luas line from Connolly Station to the Point theatre, which is currently under construction, but a further extension to the Poolbeg peninsula.

Major projects in the plan which are already under construction include a new bridge across the Liffey by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and the new Grand Canal Theatre due for completion in 2010.

The new plan includes a greater emphasis on family-friendly living compared to before, with developers having to provide facilities that benefit the community as well as ensuring adequate play spaces are provided for children.

Paul Maloney, chief executive of the DDDA, expressed confidence yesterday that the downturn in the economy would not derail the ambitious plans.

Spending of €1.7 billion by the public sector and €2.8 billion by the private sector is envisaged.

Previous plans were drawn up during periods of economic adversity but still managed to reach their targets, he pointed out.

Many of the infrastructural projects form part of the National Development Plan, which the Government was committed to maintaining.

Mr Maloney said the partnership model pursued by the DDDA was "fundamentally different" from the public-private partnership schemes which had collapsed elsewhere in the city.

Acknowledging the problems that had arisen with previous plans, he said the latest document included a greater commitment to the use of local labour during construction.

It also contained stronger regulations on the provision of play facilities and simplified the management of apartment complexes by proposing a single management company for social, affordable and privately owned units.

A community trust is also being established to take over the ownership of social housing in the area.

The authority proposes to extend the areas of section 25 planning schemes, which do not go through the normal planning process and are subject instead to the final approval of the Minister for the Environment.

The plan is available for inspection at the DDDA's former offices on Custom House Quay until August 1st.

It is also going on travelling display in seven locations around the docklands between now and the start of July. Further information is available at

The closing date for submissions is September 12th.

Irish Times

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