SUBMITTING  YOUR  PLANNING  OBSERVATION  –  URGENT

DEADLINE: Wednesday 9th February – 16.00hrs

By personally submitting an ‘Observation’ or objection supporters can make an impact on the forthcoming Planners’ decision on the proposal to construct major residential blocks at Bullock Harbour.  When making your observation to the Planning Department –

  1. Quote Ref: D22A/0006 – Former Western Marine Site, Bullock Harbour.
  2. Include your Name and Address
  3. Include the fee of €20 – cheques payable to DLRCC / or Credit Card
  4. Add your observation details

This may be done online where you can also read the full application details.  Click “Planning Applications Online Search” on the Dun Laoghaire- Rathdown County Council website and follow the links. In order to make an online observation you will first be asked to Register on their website. Observations may also be posted or delivered to: Planning Department, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, County Hall, Marine Rd, Dun Laoghaire.

Planning Office public hours: 10.00 – 16.00 weekdays (open through lunchtime).

POINTS TO CONSIDER FOR OBSERVATIONSPlease rewrite these in your own words

  1. Bulloch Harbour is of huge historical and cultural significance, unique local amenity to be protected, important part of Dalkey heritage. This architectural design is not sympathetic to character of the harbour.
  2. The site is prone to over-topping hazard i.e. inundation by huge waves and waterborne debris in north-easterly storms, and resulting flooding caused by drainage problems especially at high spring tides.   
  3. The proposed new drainage plans inadequate to cope with overtopping on houses & surrounds.
  4. Unsuitable for residential development.  Not residential in the past for good reason.  
  5. Scale and mass of proposal for the large detached houses and one large apartment (each in excess of 400 sq metres) in addition to the essential marine units is excessive.  Totally insufficient marine use proposed.
  6. Height of the three-storey quayside apartment block is excessive compared to streetscape of single storey cottages and houses.  Closer to quayside than current workshop building. Dominates view of the bay along the quay from the slipway.
  7. Three detached houses excessive in area, height and massing, not in harmony with the nearby architecture, coastal landscape and seascape.  Will block views of the coastal rocks behind.
  8. High-end residential development conflicts with marine and leisure activity of working harbour and public access to coastal rocks beyond.
  9. This landmark site has great potential for marine, cultural, heritage, recreational, environmental and community uses, such as display & information area, training, kayaking, fishing, small boating etc.
  10. Further concerns regarding parking, access, traffic, drainage, etc. (expand as you wish).
  11. Please include any other points of your own
  12.                   

 Bartra vs Bullock Harbour again!

Bartra Property (Dublin) Ltd has, as we have reported, lodged a fresh Planning Application with Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (their planning department reference is D22A/0006 ) for the former Western Marine site at Bullock Harbour on 6th January.  Our previous news posts detail the sorry planning history of this site. The new proposal consists of the same building structures as the previous plan with very minor alterations.  The principal element of the proposal are three detached houses to the rear of the site: these are virtually unchanged: three storeys, 412 sqm with a roof terrace and lift-shaft above.The formerly proposed two 2-bed apartments over the quayside café have been replaced by one 4-bed 411 sqm apartment, but still 3-storeys high with double-pitched roof.   We two 2-bed apartments over the quayside café have been replaced by one 4-bed 411sqm apartment, but still 3-storeys high with double-pitched roof.  We have shown these below, together with our 2017 version which inks in the proposed structures to show their actual size and location.

Bartra’s 2017 proposal for Bullock Harbour, with structures inked in by to illustrate the size
Bartra’s 2022 proposal (a screen grab from their planning application). These show the same structures with the large houses indistinct against the horizon.


Initial assessment of the planning application

Our initial assessment of the planning application is that the developer has failed to address the reasons cited by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown planners in their decision to refuse permission in 2018:

1.     That the predominance of residential use and the low percentage of marine related uses are contrary to the W Zoning and Special Local Objective in the DLRCC Development Plan.

2.     The lack of integrated design as the quayside elements are visually and physically segregated from the large houses to the rear.

3.     The development fails to respond to the unique context of the site, and does not strengthen the special character and positive sense of place at Bullock Harbour.

4. The scale, mass and height of the quayside block and the large detached houses are excessive compared to the streetscape of single storey cottages and houses.  They dominate the view of the bay along the quay from the slipway, and mask the view of the rocky coastline across the harbour.

Additionally we observe that, as residents and visitors to Bullock harbour all know only too well, there are still threats at this location due to flooding and in particular the overtopping waves and waterborne debris which deluge the site when driven by storm force winds.

We at Bullock Harbour Preservation Association will use a planning consultant and other experts to analyse the detail of Bartra’s new plan, which contains more detailed reports than before.  We will be writing again to advise you of any further issues which might be covered in your Observation to DLRCC.

The reference for the new Planning Application is D22A/0006 and this may be viewed on the DLRCC Online Planning Service or in person at the Planning Department, County Hall, Marine Road (10am – 4pm, Mon-Fri).   The deadline for submitting Observations/ Objections is Wednesday 9th February and these can be lodged online or in writing along with the fee of €20, which we encourage our supporters to do.

New planning application on DLRCC site.

We see that the new Bartra Planning Application for the former Western Marine site at Bullock Harbour is on the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council website registered on 6 Jan 2022, with an observation deadline of Wednesday 9 February 2022.  The Planning reference is D22A/0006  and the website link is: https://planning.agileapplications.ie/…/applicati…/91825

Observations can now be made on line. We believe that the fee to make an observation is still €20.

Planning application posted

Notice posted to gates of the former Western Marine site at Bullock Harbour, 6 January 2022

Notice of this latest planning application by Bartra Property (Dublin) Ltd was posted to the gates of the former Western Marine site at Bullock Harbour on 6 January 2022. We will be advising the DLR county council reference number when this becomes available. And we will be scrutinising the detail of the application and providing more information.

Bullock harbour – planning news latest

Bartra Property (Dublin) Ltd has withdrawn its planning appeal** from An Bord Pleanála for the proposed development at the former Western Marine site at Bullock Harbour.  This was confirmed in a letter from An Bord Pleanála dated 4 January 2022.  This excellent news means that the refusal of planning permission stands and we thank everyone involved in helping to quash this.

However, this is not the end of the matter.  We understand that Bartra Property (Dublin) Ltd may be submitting a new planning application for the site.  This would be their third application for the Western Marine site.  They have already made an initial application for a certificate of exemption from the requirement to provide social housing.  This is standard practice preparatory to submission of a planning application.  We await further information on the detail of any such new application and we will keep you appraised of the contents.

(** Background:  Those with long memories will recall that this relates to the second Bartra planning application for the Bullock site in Dec 2017 which was refused permission by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown CC in Feb 2018. That decision was appealed by the developer to ABP who granted planning permission in June 2019, which was then the subject of our much discussed BHPA application for a Judicial Review in Aug 2019.  ABP decided not to defend the case in July 2020 before the Judicial Review could be heard. The High Court Judge then quashed the planning approval and sent the case back to ABP for reconsideration.  Since that date ABP have not reached any decision, and now the developer has withdrawn their appeal application from the Board.)

Call to action on the Draft Dun Laoghaire Rathdown county Development PlAN

First we remind you that last year the High Court quashed planning permission awarded by An Bord Pleanala for the former Western Marine site at Bullock Harbour.  The effect of this is that An Bord Pleanala must now make a new decision on the Western Marine /Bartra site.  This is awaited. 

However in order to protect Bullock Harbour in any future proposals under the forthcoming 2022-2028 County Development Plan (CDP) the committee of Bullock Harbour Preservation Assocation has been active this year in seeking two changes to the draft CDP.  The first change would add a limitation to the W Zoning to omit any form of residential use on the former Western Marine site.  The second change would re-word the current Bullock strategic local objective (now SLO28 in the draft plan) to give greater emphasis to the “special nature of the area” and to remove the assumption of residential development.


We have briefed Dun Laoghaire Rathdown councillors on the issues around Bullock Harbour and the adjacent area, including the extreme flooding to which Bullock is vulnerable.  We continue to enjoy cross party support for the Bullock campaign and for these changes to the County Development Plan.  Six motions have been put by councillors from various parties endeavouring to make these changes.  These motions come up for debate at special Council meetings taking place this week and next and are listed below.


These are just six motions of the very many development plan motions that councillors will be voting on in coming days (we believe on Thursday 14 October 2021 but possibly into next week) and they could easily be overlooked.  Please therefore write to your local councillors asking them to vote for these motions, along the lines of “Please vote for County Development Plan motions 146, 147, 153, 180 181 and 182 on Bullock Harbour to remove residential use from Bullock’s zoning, and to re-word draft SLO28 to give greater emphasis to the “special nature of the area” and remove the assumption of residential development”. A short email is best.  You can find the email addresses of your DLR councillors at the end of this post.

We have only just been notified of the motions and their reference numbers and therefore ask our supporters to write immediately.

We thank all the supporters of Bullock Harbour.

Draft CDP motions referring to Bullock – October 2021

146. Councillor L. Hall That this Planning Authority pursuant to Section 12 (6) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) removes “Residential Development” from the list of developments “Open to Consideration” for W zoning at Bullock Harbour, where there is demonstrable evidence of overtopping.
147. Councillor L. Hall That this Planning Authority pursuant to Section 12 (6) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) ensures that any W development at Bullock Harbour shall have regard to the special nature of the area in terms of the height, scale, architecture and density of built form and shall comprise commercial marine-based activity and public water-based recreational uses, and shall consider flood risk. 

153. Councillor M. Halpin That this Planning Authority pursuant to Section 12 (6) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) resolves to amend the Draft Development Plan as follows – To amend page 304, to include a new line in table 13.1.1- J – To protect and improve coastal amenities To amend page 310 to include a new table 13.1.20 ZONING OBJECTIVE ‘J’ “To improve coastal amenities” Permitted in Principle Open Space, Recreational Facility*/Sports Club, Marine Leisure facility, community facility Open for Consideration Cultural Use, Public Services. *Recreational use of the coast; Recreational buildings including restaurant use To amend Map 4 to include a new colour for Objective J in the Key To amend Map 4 where the green colour for Bulloch Harbour is replaced by the new colour denoting Objective J.
180. Councillor J. Moylan That this Planning Authority pursuant to Section 12 (6) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) resolves to amend the Draft Development Plan as follows – SLO 28 [Bullock Harbour] to be amended to read that ‘any development shall have regard to the special nature of the area in terms of the height, scale, architecture and density of built form and shall comprise commercial marine-based activity and public water-based recreational uses, and shall only comprise uses that are compatible with the flooding to which the site is subject and that Bullock harbour and its environs will be offered the same level of protection as its neighbouring harbour, Sandycove harbour in terms of any potential future residential development application that may be ‘open for consideration’ under W zoning.’ 
181. Councillors C. Smyth, J. O’Connell, and D. O’Callaghan That this Planning Authority pursuant to Section 12 (6) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) resolves to amend the Draft Development Plan as follows – Amend the SLO number 28 for Bullock Harbour to remove the following text “residential”. 
182. Councillor M. Halpin That this Planning Authority pursuant to Section 12 (6) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) resolves to amend the Draft Development Plan as follows – To amend page 321 SLO 28 to read as follows – Bullock Harbour – Any development shall have regard to the special nature of the area in terms of the height, scale, architecture and density of built form and shall comprise commercial marine-based activity and public water-based recreational uses, and shall only comprise 34 uses that are compatible with the flooding (including wave over-topping) to which the site is subject”.

DUN LAOGHAIRE RATHDOWN COUNTY COUNCILLORS

Dun Laoghaire Area
Mary Fayne    mfayne@cllr.dlrcoco.ie    Fine Gael     
Lorraine Hall    lhall@cllr.dlrcoco.ie    Fine Gael 
Melissa Halpin    mhalpin@cllr.dlrcoco.ie    Solidarity – People before Profit
Tom Kivlehan    tkivlehan@cllr.dlrcoco.ie    Green Party
Justin Moylan   jmoylan@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fianna Fáil
Juliet O’Connell    joconnell@cllr.dlrcoco.ie    Labour
Dave Quinn    dquinn@cllr.dlrcoco.ie      Social Democrats

Blackrock Area
Marie Baker    mbaker@cllr.dlrcoco.ie    Fine Gael
Maurice Dockrell    mdockrell@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fine Gael
Martha Fanning     mfanning@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Labour
Kate Feeney    kfeeney@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fianna Fáil
Mary Hanafin   mhanafin@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fianna Fáil
Séafra Ó Faoláin    sofaolain@cllr.dlrcoco.ie    Green Party

Killiney-Shankill Area
Michael Clark  mclark@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Independent
Jim Gildea    jgildea@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fine Gael
Hugh Lewis    hlewis@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Solidarity – People before Profit
Frank McNamara    fmcnamara@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fine Gael
Denis O’Callaghan    denisoc@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Labour
Una Power    unapower@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Green Party
Carrie Smyth    carriesmyth@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Labour

Stillorgan Area
Deirdre Donnelly    ddonnelly@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Independent
Eva-Elizabeth Dowling    edowling@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Green Party
John Kennedy    jkennedy@cllr.dlrcoco.i        Fine Gael
Maeve O’Connell    moconnell@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fine Gael
Barry Saul    bsaul@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fine Gael
Dónal Smith    dsmith@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fianna Fáil

Dundrum Area
Shay Brennan    sbrennan@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fianna Fáil
Anne Colgan    acolgan@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Independent
Daniel Dunne    ddunne@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Green Party
Anna Grainger    agrainger@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fine Gael
Sean McLoughlin    smcloughlin@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Independent
Peter O’Brien    pobrien@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Labour
Jim O’Leary    joleary@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fine Gael

Glencullen Area
Kazi Ahmed     kahmed@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fine Gael
Emma Blain    eblain@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fine Gael
Michael Fleming    mfleming@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Independent
Patricia Kinsella     pkinsella@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Independent
Lettie McCarthy    lmccarthy@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Labour
Tom Murphy    tmurphy@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Fianna Fáil
Oisín O’Connor    ooconnor@cllr.dlrcoco.ie        Green Party

County Development plan for 2022-28

Now available on line – the consultation for the new Development Plan for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown. A Development Plan is all about land use and “spatial planning” – that is, it provides the policy infrastructure for planning applications (as well as green space and other non-construction related uses). It’s long, so start reading now. We’ll be publishing more on this topic in coming weeks.

https://www.dlrcoco.ie/en/news/general-news-public-consultation/county-development-plan-2022-2028-pre-draft-have-your-say

Bullock harbour and what’s in store for 2021

Here’s a summary of where we are as 2021 gets under way. 

Most visitors to this site know only too well that in 2019 Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association lodged an application for a High Court Judicial Review of the An Bord Pleanala decision to grant planning permission for the former Western Marine site.  In applying for the JR, our legal team set out a lengthy statement of grounds, detailing multiple deficiencies in the ABP decision.

In July 2020 following routine adjournments and after delays owing to the Covid pandemic, ABP through their solicitors conceded our case without the Judicial Review ever having taken place. This concession quashed ABP’s planning permission.  We subsequently learnt that ABP’s concession related to “Ground 3” which relates to deficiencies in the planning application relating to the Habitats directive and sections of the Planning and Development Act.   An Bord Pleanala did not concede other very important aspects of our case, for example the evidence of the vulnerability of the site to flooding and wave-overtopping.  The concession by ABP means that the High Court now requires ABP to reconsider their decision.  

ABP has therefore re-opened the case with a new reference and the planning process is now, once again, live.  This was, in essence, signalled by the flurry of correspondence in November 2020 to all those who had made observations to ABP in 2018 – as explained in the previous post.  A number of scenarios could now ensue and speculation is, at this stage, pointless.  What is now clear is that the matter is far from settled.  Keep watching this site for more news.  Thank you all for your continuing support.  

Update on Bullock Harbour Planning application, decision by An Bord Pleanala and Judicial Review


Below we have set out (1) a reminder of the events leading to Bullock Harbour Preservation Association’s application for a Judicial Review of the An Bord Pleanala decision to grant planning permission.  (2) We then explain what happened with the Judicial Review sought by Bullock Harbour Preservation Association (BHPA) . (3) We conclude with suggestions on how to respond to recent correspondence from An Bord Pleanala (ABP).

  1. CHAIN OF EVENTS
  • December 2017:  Bartra Property (Dublin) Ltd apply to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council for planning permission to develop the former Western Marine site at Bullock Harbour.  This is their second planning application for the site.
  • Some hundreds of “observations” are lodged with the county council objecting to the developer’s plans.
  • February 2018: Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council refuses planning permission
  • March 2018:   Bartra appeals the DLR decision to An Bord Pleanala
  • April 2018:  67 observations are made to An Bord Pleanala – including many by local residents and harbour users
  • An Bord Pleanala appoint an inspector to report on the appeal.
  • Around  June 2019, An Bord Pleanala’s inspector recommends upholding DLR’s refusal to grant planning permission
  • June 2019, the board of An Bord Pleanala, against the recommendation of their inspector, grants planning permission to Bartra.
  • August 2019, Bullock Harbour Preservation Association applies to the High Court for a judicial review of the ABP decision.  In this application our legal team, Fred Logue solicitor and John Kenny BL provide a “statement of grounds” which sets out the multiple reasons or grounds for requesting the judicial review.
  • October 2019, the High Court gives BHPA leave to pursue the judicial review
  • In July 2020 after various routine adjournments and after delays owing to the Covid pandemic, ABP through their solicitors stated that they would not defend the case in court and therefore the High Court quashed APB’s decision to grant planning permission.

2. WHERE ARE WE NOW?
We subsequently learnt that An Bord Pleanala’s conceded only on “Ground 3” which relates to deficiencies in the planning application relating to the Habitats directive and sections of the Planning and Development Act.  Please note this concession means that the Judicial Review did not actually proceed.  And also note that An Bord Pleanala did not concede other very important aspects of our case, for example the evidence of the vulnerability of the site to flooding and wave-overtopping.  The concession by ABP means that the High Court now requires ABP to reconsider their decision.  ABP has therefore re-opened the case with a new reference: ABP-308243-20.  As due process they have written to those who made an observation to ABP in April 2018. 

We set out below guidance on responding to An Bord Pleanala. The ABP website with inspector’s report and other salient documents is here. Various different scenarios could now ensue as a result of An Bord Pleanala being required to re-consider their decision and it would be unwise to speculate on a likely outcome.

3. RESPONSE TO AN BORD PLEANALA
An Bord Pleanala has written to those who lodged observations with them in April 2018 on the Bartra appeal.  If (and only if) you made such an observation and have received a letter from An Bord Pleanala inviting comment (and by 17 December) you could usefully include the following in your reply:

  1. The new reference number: ABP-308243-20.
  2. Request the board to require the developer Bartra to provide updated information in regard to the Environmental and Habitats Directives to enable the Board to make a new assessment.
  3. Ask the Board to reconsider the other grounds of the judicial review.
  4. Ask to be allowed to see and comment on any further information that the developer sends to the Board.

Please let us know if you write in to An Bord Pleanala – you can drop us a line at savebulloch@gmail.com

High Court decision and correspondence from An Bord Pleanala

In today’s post… Yes I know it’s a Saturday but still today in our letterbox was a registered letter from An Bord Pleanala relating to the development of the Western Marine site at Bullock Harbour. Parts of this letter and the attachment are masterly in their obfuscation of the English language. So no comment or view is possible until we actually understand (a) what the letter means and (b) what action needs to be taken now.

Bullock Harbour Preservation Association are in contact our legal advisers and we will be in touch again soon with news and guidance. You will have received this letter if (and only if) you submitted an observation to An Bord Pleanala in Spring 2018 relating to Bartra Property’s appeal to ABP against the DLRCoCo refusal to grant planning permission. Thanks as ever for all the good wishes and support.

An Bord Pleanala concedes Bullock Harbour case in Judicial Review.  Planning permission quashed.

Bullock Harbour Preservation Association has tonight issued the following press release. 

In a letter to Bullock Harbour Preservation Association’s solicitors  An Bord Pleanala has conceded the Judicial Review brought by the association regarding a planning application for a contentious development on a site abutting Bullock Harbour. This effectively quashes the planning permission awarded by the board in 2019.  The association awaits further correspondence regarding the detail of ABP’s decision.

The planning application by developers Bartra Property (Dublin) Ltd, made in 2017, proposed building luxury houses and apartments on a site immediately adjacent to the harbour and currently occupied by commercial buildings.  There have been multiple objections to the proposed development including the history of major flooding on the site from wave overtopping, the failure by the applicant to make proper environmental assessments and the overwhelmingly and incongruously large nature of the development in a sensitive site of maritime and natural heritage.

“This is great news for the community of users and residents of Bullock Harbour” said Dr Susan McDonnell, chair of Bullock Harbour Preservation Association.  “The proposed development was entirely unsuitable for this site in multiple regards.  We are so grateful to our supporters from Dalkey and beyond who have made this outcome possible.  And we await with interest the further correspondence from An Bord Pleanala”.

The planning application was refused permission in 2018 by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and appealed by Bartra Property to An Bord Pleanala that same year.  In 2019 ABP’s inspector recommended upholding the county council’s refusal but planning permission was none the less awarded by the board.  The Bullock Harbour Preservation Association accordingly applied for Judicial Review of the board’s decision in August 2019.

Dr McDonnell thanked FP Logue solicitors and barrister John Kenny who represented the Association throughout the proceedings.