Responding to correspondence from An Bord Pleanala

Responding to correspondence from An Bord Pleanala

You have recently received a large pack of documentation if you submitted observations to An Bord Pleanala (ABP) in March or April of this year regarding Bartra Property (Dublin) Ltd’s appeal against the decision by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to refuse planning permission for the proposed development at the former Western Marine site at Bullock Harbour.  The sequence of events is this:

  1. Bartra submitted a new planning application for the former Western Marine site to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLR) in December 2017
  2. DLR refused planning permission in February 2018
  3. Bartra appealed to An Bord Pleanala in March 2018
  4. DLR submitted observations on Bartra’s appeal to ABP in on 18 April 2018
  5. Many other parties, including ourselves, submitted observations on Bartra’s appeal to ABP in March/April 2018.
  6. Bartra submitted to ABP their response to DLR’s observations July 2018.
  7. If you submitted observations to ABP on the Bartra appeal, you have now been sent the documentation relating to points 4 and 6 above and have been invited to comment.

Options are (a) not to respond (you are under no obligation to do so), (b) respond to some of the points in the new package or (c) respond comprehensively to the points in the new package.  Points to note:

  • No fee is required to make a response.
  • You are required to quote the reference number in any correspondence with An Bord Pleanala ABP-301237-18.
  • You are required to respond by 22 August 2018.
  • ABP are clear that they are seeking comments on the contents of the package i.e. new information only and not generally on the planning application.
  • If, when you submitted your observation to ABP in April, you included other people’s observations in your envelope, please let these others know. It is not clear to us if they can respond independently to the latest ABP request but they may wish to work with you on a joint response.
  • DLR has uploaded the pack of documents to their planning site. Link provided .  This is not the easiest site to navigate and links don’t always open.  Go to Documents and then page 19 of the planning application D17A/1135 and look for the post of 3 August 2018.

Composing a response

Your response needs to be your own.  Standard or template responses do not carry weight.  We set out below points which we have noted and will probably include in our submission.  You may want to draw on these in composing your own response.

We have found the 18 April DLR documentation to be lucid and written in relatively plain English.  They set out their reasons for opposing the appeal and you may wish to support the statements offered by them.

The 9 July Bartra response focuses on “risk of flooding and wave overtopping” includes the following elements:  a letter from Doyle Kent Planning and an associated report from CS Consulting group, together with some site plans.  We are not proposing to offer advice on how to frame comments regarding the technical or the statistical aspects of the report.

Bartra’s submission acknowledges that their original report vastly under-estimated the volume of water that reaches the site in severe easterly/north easterly storms and over-topping episodes.  They do not address the method of drainage adequately.  They propose that parts of the site would have to be avoided during such episodes.  They continue to represent the waver over-topping as “spray”, fail to mention the projectiles (i.e. rocks and debris) that are borne by the waves, and under-estimate the duration of these episodes – they lasted many hours each day of over-topping that occurred during the March 2018 storms.

If you are able to cite personal experience of flooding and wave-overtopping at Bullock in support of this, then do mention.

The council’s submission discusses the W Zoning in which Bullock falls.  Bartra’s submission states that “the proposed development fully accords with the current zoning”.   In fact, as the council points out the W Zoning has the objective of permitting “to provide for waterfront development and harbour related uses”.  A number of other uses, of which residential housing is only one, are additionally “open for consideration”.  We continue to contend, as does the council, that a development that is primarily residential is not compatible with W zoning.

Bartra’s consultants attempt to draw parallels between the Western Marine site and Coliemore apartments.  The apartment site there is protected from extreme overtopping in north-easterly storms by Dalkey Island and is not comparable to Bullock at all.  The waves there run NW to SE and vice versa along the length of the Dalkey Sound, and not towards the shore.  We are expecting that many responses will have fun with that.

Finally:  If you do respond to ABP’s invitation to comment, it would be useful if you could copy or at least let us know that you are participating.  Please email

Thank you

Bullock Harbour Preservation Assoc

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