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Thursday 18 January 2018

Clontarf residents to have say in design of controversial flood defence wall

Niall O’Connor

PLANS to build a controversial flood defence wall in Clontarf are back on the table – but this time residents will get a say in its design.

Thousands turned out to show their opposition to a plan to erect a nine-foot wall along the promenade when it was first mooted in 2011.


Resident and business owners complained that their community would be ‘blindfolded’ if the wall was constructed and the idea was shelved.


But following a series of low-key discussions between city officials and local groups, the Evening Herald has learned that the flood defence plans are back online.


However, the two major sticking points – the height of the wall and a lack of public consultation – will be addressed in a series of meetings over the coming months.


And while the issue of height has not yet been ironed out as part of the new plans, sources close to the negotiations say it is likely to be significantly lower.


Over a year after the council’s plans was rejected by city politicians following massive public opposition, it has been agreed in principle that the flood defence project will now be entitled the Clontarf Promenade Development and Flood Defence Works.


A report devised following a recent workshop has also recommended that a “design competition” for the wall be put out for tender


It is hoped that this process will in turn lead to the design that will prevent flooding and protect the environment, as well as being acceptable to the local community.


Dublin City Council has also decided to change its approach to the issue, and officials working in a range of different departments have been drafted in to head up the project.


In an email to over 1,500 residents this week, Clontarf-based councillor Damian O’Farrell confirmed that a “multi-disciplinary team” will now engage with local groups on the newly named project.


“A Multi-Disciplinary Team including Parks and City Architecture as well as Engineering will represent DCC at future works/project meetings,” Cllr O’Farrell wrote.


“The above two items will represent a seismic change for DCC as they will be recognising this project for the first time, as a dual project, i.e. both environmental and engineering.”


** For full details on this story please see today’s edition of the Evening Herald **

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