herald

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Docklands rebirth could create 30,000 jobs, says council

UP to 30,000 jobs and thousands of new homes could be created through a new Dublin's docklands plan, the city council believes.

Despite years of intensive construction in the zone, much of it remains undeveloped.

Among the iconic structures now standing in the docklands are the Convention Centre, the Samuel Beckett Bridge and the Bord Gais Theatre.

But many sites have still not been revamped and the council is formulating a blueprint for their redevelopment.



Details

The areas under consideration are the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock on either side of the Liffey, which contain about 50 acres of land available for regeneration.

While the details have yet to be hammered out, the local authority says any new buildings should have a distinctly 'Dublin maritime' character.

Council planner John O'Hara described the potential as "enormous", saying 30,000 jobs could be created and up to 7,000 new residents could be living there.

The Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) is to be wound up next year.

Last summer's decision followed the publication of a special report by the Comptroller and Auditor General containing damning findings about the DDDA's conduct.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan appointed Dublin city manager John Tierney to chair a transitional board to oversee the dissolution of the authority over an 18-month period.

Mr Tierney has asked the Minister to combine the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock areas as a strategic development zone (SDZ), a status reserved for areas of national importance.

While Mr Hogan has yet to reply, the council has started preliminary work on the plan.

If granted, the SDZ is likely to make provision for office blocks, high-spec apartments, plazas, hotels, shops and restaurants.

Mr O'Hara said the Government has given a commitment to the continued regeneration of the docklands.

"If you were to follow the trends and developments that occurred in the last 15 years in the docklands, [the undeveloped areas] have the potential to provide for 30,000 jobs ... and about 6,000 to 7,000 new residents," he said.

comurphy@herald.ie

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