Thursday 22 January 2009

Cold water poured on Liffey pontoon proposal

ANOTHER PROPOSAL for the River Liffey has been given the boot by An Bord Pleanála which has refused planning permission for a 120m pontoon off the Boardwalk at Lower Ormond Quay because it would cause “visual clutter” and impact on views along the quays and from the nearby Millennium and Ha’penny bridges.

Last April Dublin City Council granted Irish Ship and Barge Fabrication Company Ltd planning permission for the cobbled “floating street” and the vision was that this part of the Liffey would be transformed with visions of people sipping cappuccinos and eating food ordered from two former Guinness barges refurbished as a café and a restaurant.

It was all part of a €9 million grand plan to rescue and restore four 80ft former Guinness barges off the coast of Northern Ireland. Some of the barges would operate cruises on the Liffey, while a separate fleet of ferries would collect and drop off passengers at 12 points on the river.

An Taisce was one of the parties up in arms about the proposal saying the plan was premature in light of the pending City Quays Framework Plan.

It cited the “onslaught of controversial proposals” for the river. Dublin architect Patrick Shaffrey was against the project because he said the view of the Ha’penny Bridge from the Liffey “one of the most iconic in Dublin” would be affected. An Bord Pleanála agreed and said that the excessive scale, massing, design and proposed uses, and the permanently moored vessels, would detract “from the important civic design character of the quays” and interfere with other established uses on the river.

Irish Times

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