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Green Party

Submission

Dún Laoghaire
Harbour
Masterplan
MasterPlan Team,
Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company,
Harbour Lodge,
Crofton Road,
Dún Laoghaire,
Co. Dublin

1st February 2011

Dear Sir/Madam

RE: SUBMISSION TO THE DÚN LAOGHAIRE HARBOUR MASTERPLAN

I welcome the preparation by the Dún Laoghaire Harbour of a masterplan for the harbour
area. Dún Laoghaire harbour is a major recreational and amenity resource for the locality and
wider Dún Laoghaire area and a long-term strategic vision underpinned by a plan-led
implementation framework is vital in order to secure the harbour's future for the benefit of both
the Harbour Company and the local community.

Maintaining a ferry link to the UK

I welcome the proposal to redefine Dún Laoghaire Harbour as a leisure harbour. However, I
believe that future opportunities to keep a ferry link with the UK should not be lost. As we
have seen during recent incidents when airplanes were grounded, travelling by ferry is still a
viable means of travel and may become increasingly so in the future. A seasonally ferry
during the summer months could be considered and the infrastructure needed for a ferry
service should be maintained. The Harbour Company should work to secure INTERREG
funding to provide better linked-in ferry and train services between Ireland and the UK.

Cruise Ships & Tourist Development

There is considerable scope to attract the cruise liner market to Dún Laoghaire. Dún
Laoghaire is a fantastic harbour location with a unique built and natural heritage. Its location
immediately adjacent to the Dún Laoghaire DART station makes it an ideal gateway location
for tourists to explore Dublin City and hinterland. We have seen the positive impact of large
cruise liners docking at Dublin Port with thousands of visitors disembarking, visiting Dublin’s
tourist attractions and spending money in local businesses.

Dún Laoghaire Harbours offers a much more pleasant and suitable docking location for cruise
ships and there is a major opportunity to exploit this economic potential for the benefit of the
wider locality. Any physical works required to facilitate the mooring of large cruise liners in
Dún Laoghaire should be carefully designed so as to avoid any adverse impact on local built
and natural heritage, including the Dublin Bay Special Area of Conservation.

Built Heritage

The unique physical fabric and built heritage Dún Laoghaire Harbour is an important asset
and must be conserved and enhanced. In particular, the historic Carlisle Pier now has the
potential to provide a high quality outdoor public amenity space. I understand that elements of
the 1890’s Victorian railway building have been retained and I believe that these elements
should be reconstituted as part of multi-functional covered space to, for example, host an ice-
rink in winter, the Festival of World Cultures in summer and occasional outdoor events and
markets.

Open Space & Public Accessibility

In recent years significant areas of the Harbour Company land was converted to revenue
generating surface car parking. This has created a car dominated environment and a
disconnect between the harbour area and Dún Laoghaire town. The long-term future of the
harbour is much better served by opening up the harbour area to pedestrians and cyclists,
enhancing accessibility for the general public, improve directional signage, reducing surface
car parking and delivering more green spaces. In order to achieve this, the Masterplan should
include a detailed design framework for the public realm including further measures to remove
the barriers to accessibility due to the rail line.

Views

The sensitive built, natural and visual environment of the harbour requires a very careful
approach to any future infill development. Particularly, infill development should be in keeping
with the existing building heights of the town to protect the harbour setting and views from
Dún Laoghaire to Dublin Bay and Howth Head and sensitively designed to conserve the
character of local built heritage and the numerous important protected structures.

Small Boat Owners

The prioritisation of space within the harbour for surface car parking and marshalling yards for
ferry services has reduced the space available for small boat owners. The masterplan should
specifically enhance facilities and storage space for small boat owners, such as the Coal
Harbour Users Group (CHUG) and local yacht and water sports clubs. Consideration should
be given to the development of workshops to promote traditional boat building and small craft
repair and restoration.

Conclusion

Dún Laoghaire is extremely fortunate to have a unique historic harbour resource, which is a
central part of the local identity and a much loved and valued social, recreational, and amenity
resource. However, the future economic viability of the harbour is dependent on creating
appropriate synergies with the wider economy of Dún Laoghaire. The imaginative
redevelopment of the harbour can contribute significantly to the local economy, particularly in
the development of heritage and tourism initiatives, The Masterplan must focus on how the
future development of the harbour can contribute to cultivating these synergies in a manner,
which is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

Sincerely

Ciarán Cuffe

Green Party TD for Dún Laoghaire

1 February 2011