Sunday 6 September 2009

Bremore no replacement for Dublin Port, says town planner

A PROPOSAL that Dublin Port divert its container services to a new deep-water port at Bremore in north Co Dublin, as opposed to infilling 52 acres of Dublin Bay, was based on the misconception that a port at Bremore actually exists, An Bord Pleanála was told yesterday.

Addressing a planning inquiry into Dublin Port Company’s plans for the infill in Dublin Bay, architect and town planner Terry Durney said the choice of Bremore on the north Dublin coast was significantly inferior to Dublin Port.

The switching of Dublin Port traffic to Bremore either in its entirety or simply as a move to add extra capacity has been suggested by a number of opponents of the infill proposal. But according to Mr Durney, Bremore was not a natural harbour and would require large-scale engineering works, and even then he claimed it had been suggested the port “could be vulnerable in northeasterly winds in the same way that Rosslare is”.

Mr Durney maintained concerns had also arisen about the archaeology of the north Co Dublin/east Meath coastal region and he pointed out that Bremore headland is the location of several unexcavated Neolithic burial sites protected by the Fingal Development Plan.

He also said another issue was the visual impact of the Bremore development “in an area of pristine plain and coastal landscape”. Other aspects which he said needed to be considered included the absence of road infrastructure in the area, particularly a road link to the M1 motorway.

He also mentioned the absence of a rail connection. Mr Durney said the Dublin Bay infill proposal was “the best option in environmental and operational terms”.

Dublin Port already had a good connection to the M1 and M50 motorways and was “at the hub of the railway system and is strategically placed to offer connectivity to a more sustainable form of transport that is likely to increase in future years”.

Mr Durney also said Dublin was the most suitable site for an expansion of the State’s unitised container handling capacity.

Irish Times

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