Thursday, 26th March 2015
Public Consultation to Open on Plans for New Cruise Berth Facility for Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Members of the public and harbour stakeholders are being invited by the Dun Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group to submit their views on plans for the development of a new cruise berth facility for large cruise ships in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.
The two week public consultation process will open next Monday (30.03.2015) and is being launched in advance of an expected planning application to An Board Pleanala for the project. The planning application will be made by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company on behalf of the Dun Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group.
The cruise industry is an important and growing sector of the tourism market. Cruise ships are getting bigger in size, offering more facilities to passengers, but requiring deeper water and longer berths to accommodate them. Over 50% of new ships currently on order are over 300m in length. At present Cobh is the only port in Ireland that can accommodate these vessels. If facilities are not put in place, Ireland risks losing out on the expanding cruise tourism market.
Under the Planning and Development Acts, the cruise berth facility is regarded as strategic infrastructure and the planning application must therefore be made to An Bord Pleanala. It is expected that a finalised planning application and Environmental Impact Statement will go to An Bord Pleanala the end of April / early May 2015. Responses from the public and stakeholders during the consultation process will be taken into account when finalising the application to An Bord Pleanala. When the final application goes to An Bord Pleanala, observations and submissions may be made by members of the public and certain statutory bodies.
Speaking in relation to the launch of the consultation process, Gerry Dunne, CEO of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company said: “The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Masterplan, published in 2011, identified the need to develop strategies to ensure the long term future of the harbour, in view of the declining importance of ferry traffic. Development of cruise business was identified as one of the opportunities to be pursued. In addition, Dun Laoghaire is designated as a marine tourism port under the Government’s National Ports Policy and the development of the cruise business fits into this framework.
“Dun Laoghaire will have its most successful cruise season ever in 2015, with a total of 22 ships expected, bringing up to 100,000 passengers and crew to the harbour. However the development of the cruise berth facility is essential to allow to build on the success to date and to bring even more vessels and passengers to our town.
“The expansion and development of the cruise business offers significant economic benefits to Dun Laoghaire and the surrounding areas. These would include expenditure by disembarked passenger and crew; payments to tour operators by cruise companies and purchases by cruise ships from local supplies while in harbour.
“This is a hugely exciting project for Dun Laoghaire and the members of the Cruise Stakeholder Group are anxious to hear the views of the public before finalising our application to An Bord Pleanala. Full details of the proposals will be available on the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Website from Monday next at www.dlharbour.ie.
Observations or comments can be submitted by email to email@example.com or by post to Jean Finnegan, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, Harbour Lodge, Crofton Rd, Dun Laoghaire, anytime up to 5pm on Monday, 13th April 2015.
Contact: Tony Heffernan / Emily Brennan, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-2399508 / 086-1658629.
Note to Editors:
The Dun Laoghaire Stakeholder Group is made up of: Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company; Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council; and the Dun Laoghaire Bid Company.