A CHALLENGE by a Dublin Bay environmental organisation to an €18m terminal berth for cruise ships at Dún Laoghaire harbour is to be heard later this year at the Commercial Court.
The Save Our Seafront (SOS) group opposes the planned development for various reasons, including that it was allegedly approved without proper identification and assessment of its impact on the environment and on recreational users of the harbour, including small boat users and on regattas. The harbour company sought to have the case fast-tracked for reasons including it regards the successful development of the cruise terminal berth as "an important element" in securing the port's financial future and to replace the loss of revenue resulting from the cessation of ferry services. While it had hoped to have the berth open in time for the 2018 cruise season, construction had been delayed as a result of the case, it said.
That meant bookings received from cruise lines for the 2018 season had been cancelled and potential bookings were being put in doubt.
SOS say an environmental impact statement failed to consider people that walk on the pier to enjoy fresh air and the view of the Dublin mountains and the effects on their enjoyment that a large cruise ship obscuring the view and "emitting diesel and sulphur fumes" would have. It also claims the potential impact on marine mammals, including otters and the Minke whale, was inadequately assessed. Mr Justice Brian Cregan was told yesterday the sides had agreed the challenge, brought against An Bord Pleanála, with Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company as a notice party, could be heard by the Commercial Court. The judge fixed the case for hearing on October 10.