Plans have been lodged with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to redevelop the former Western Marine premises at Bulloch Harbour into housing, a café and shops.
What is planned?
- Six shop units and a café at ground level
- Six large apartments over the shops
- Three very large three-storey houses, each of about 5,000 square feet.
A little history of Bulloch Harbour
In the twelfth century, this granite harbour was fortified by Cistercian Monks for trade and fishing. An imposing defensive castle was built which still stands. Today, the harbour is still used for fishing and marine sports, while Carmelite sisters run a large nursing home in the grounds of the castle (Our Lady’s Manor). Both the harbour and the castle are listed on the register of protected structures as being worthy of special protection due to their heritage.
The developer is Richard Barrett, best known for his former partnership with Johnny Ronan in Treasury Holdings, a hyper-ambitious Celtic Tiger era business. Treasury Holdings went into liquidation in 2012, owing €2.7bn. While many people are still in negative equity having bought their homes at the wrong time, both Ronan and Barrett are once again flying high, acquiring and developing sites around Dublin.
Until last year, developers had to allocate a fifth of sites on new developments for social housing. This was reduced by Alan Kelly while he was environment minister, to one in ten sites. This change was meant to encourage more building by increasing profits for developers. As the developer of this site has proposed just nine residential units, there is no social housing requirement at all.
Is this a good development?
This is a fairly small development – but in a very sensitive location. To me, the plans look drab and unattractive. The straight line of identical white cubic apartments with commercial units below are reminiscent of a strip mall. The new development replaces a boat shed and it just hasn’t moved that far from the shed aesthetic. I would prefer to see the building line follow the curved wall of the quay. I would prefer to see some variety to the apartments. I would prefer to see pitched rather than flat roofs – which are both more practical in our climate and a better fit with the vernacular style. These units will be sold for a very high price and will have a significant visual impact on a public amenity and a beauty spot. I think they could have tried harder to design some beautiful buildings to fit a beautiful location.
The development will bring more vehicle traffic down the quay-side. Obviously there is a risk associated with using a harbour quay-side for regular residential and visitor car traffic. I would like to see if there are any alternative layouts to reduce this risk.
This rocky , exposed headland gives little protection from any storms and anybody living here would need to be prepared for a regular soaking in salt water.
Risk from excavation to neighbouring homes.
If the development requires piling or excavation of rock to build foundations, then there would be an impact to neighbouring homes. The construction risks to neighbouring properties and the pier should be rigourously assessed before any development tales place.
Have your say
Dún Laoghaire County Council’s planning department will have to decide whether this development should go ahead or be modified or rejected. If you want to comment on this development, you can make a submission by writing to the council, quoting planning reference D16A/0906. Your submission should be sent to the Planning Department, County Hall, Dún Laoghaire with a fee of €20. The deadline for submissions is 19 January 2017. Alternatively, you can make your submission online through here:
A Facebook page has been set up by locals concerned about the development here:
Or – just leave a comment underneath…
(I may have to edit any comments that might be defamatory)