herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Flood walls may be axed in new plans consultation: Tom Leahy with the council's assistant area manager Elaine Mulvaney, and business and residents representative Eilis O'Brien

THE Clontarf promenade is to undergo a major revamp – but flood defences may not form part of the scheme.

Dublin City Council, in conjunction with local representatives, is attempting to agree a plan for the seafront walkway.

It is hoped that flood protection measures can be included, but they will not be installed unless there is agreement with businesses and residents, the local authority claims.

A vision for the development of the promenade as a public amenity, while at the same time protecting its natural environment, has been set out by a joint working group of the council and the community.

DEFUNCT

Among the objectives is to enhance it as a safe location for outdoor activities, such as walking, running and cycling, and to protect it as an open space to observe Brent geese.

"This joint working group is the city plus the community working together," Tom Leahy, executive manager at the council's engineering department, told the Herald.

"What emerges from that – hopefully by the end of the year – will then go through full consultation backwards and forwards with the community, so this is at a very early stage in scoping out what the opportunities might be, what the possibilities (are) and then, within that, whether flood defence will form a part or not," he said.

It's a far cry from the now-defunct 2011 flood defence plan, which would have seen 2.7-metre high barriers constructed along the scenic route.

With the proposals ready to go to tender, residents and businesses reacted with fury and forced the council to back down.

Accusations of a lack of consultation were levelled two years ago. This time, the local authority is at pains to point out that a joint process is underway. Four meetings of the working group have focused on developing the promenade as an amenity and environmental protection.

Business and residents representative Eilis O'Brien said: "We conducted a survey and had a very significant response. The level of usage was very high. Once the lighting went in, it meant this was a very, very safe place for people to come."

comurphy@herald.ie

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