Tuesday 17 February 2009

Flood risk analysis requested in response to Dublin Bay infill plan

AN BORD Pleanála has requested an assessment of the flood risk to Clontarf seafront as well as the Liffey, Dodder and Tolka rivers, from proposals to infill 21 hectares (52 acres) of Dublin Bay.

Dublin Port Company is seeking permission for new deep-water berths at the northeastern part of Dublin Port.

In addition to the proposed infill, there would be additional dredging or other works on a further 17 hectares (43 acres) of the bay.

The proposal is being resisted by the campaign group Dublin Bay Watch, chaired by Clontarf based member of Dublin City Council Gerry Breen.

In its letter to the port company An Bord Pleanála specifically refers to flood dangers at Clontarf, drawing the port company’s attention to a storm water culvert along the Clontarf coastline “which is understood to be seriously impaired due to the absence of several of the outfall flap valves”. Flap valves are designed to prevent seawater rising through local drains.

The letter also refers to the “need for greater clarity in the determination of return period discharges for the rivers Liffey, Tolka and Dodder”.

In addition An Bord Pleanála has asked for “detailed analysis of longterm tidal trends with the bay as a result of increasing sea levels” and has also requested “more comprehensive explanation of the impact of climate change and how it is implemented within the modelling studies”.

The port company applied to the strategic infrastructure division of the planning board on September 8th last and the period for public submissions closed in October.

The port company has said the extra deep water berths are essential to the operation of the port which is at capacity. The company said this in turn has implications for the prosperity of the State, as the majority of goods imported and exported move through Dublin Port.

The deadline for the additional information is March 20th.

However, Mr Breen told The Irish Times the scale of the information required was a “clear” indication that An Bord Pleanála considered the information supplied by Dublin Port in support of its application to be inadequate.

“An Bord Pleanála has shown itself to be rigorous in assessing all proposals before it and this additional information request shows that the environmental impact statement submitted did not fulfil all the necessary requirements”.

Mr Breen said he was looking forward to an oral hearing proposed for May “that will allow members of the public who are worried about the infill to spell out their concerns”.

Irish Times


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