Pat Kenny has advised high-profile developer Richard Barrett to meet with locals in Dalkey to decide a new plan for Bulloch Harbour.
The broadcaster was speaking as hundreds of locals celebrated their victory this weekend after challenging a decision in the courts by An Bord Pleanala, that gave the green light to a mixed-use development by Barrett's Bartra Capital Property abutting Bulloch Harbour.
In recent days, An Bord Pleanala has written to solicitors for the Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association confirming it proposes to concede their Judicial Review challenge of the plan. When ratified by the High Court, the move effectively quashes the planning permission granted by the planning board and the application could then be remitted back to the appeals board for a fresh adjudication.
Asked 'what next', the Newstalk presenter said it would be wise for Richard Barrett to meet with locals to agree a working plan for the harbour before deciding on his next move. He said: "I would say [Richard Barrett] should talk to the local people and talk to the council. And come to some agreement that will preserve what is there, preserve the working harbour and that would give him whatever kind of payback [he wants]."
But he warned: "There may not be a payback. That's one of the issues. Because if, with the changing climate it proves inimical to any kind of domestic development or even a commercial development on a 12-months basis, I don't know, then perhaps he should try to sell it to the council."
Kenny said property developers "tend not to send their representatives on earth to meet local people. But I think it would be advisable to do that."
On what kind of plan locals would be open to in the area, Kenny said: "I think it has got to be a marine-friendly development."
He said that the developer could open a community friendly business that would close during the winter storm season: "If, for example, you put cafes and boat repair [shops] and bathing facilities, then presumably in the winter you could lock it all up and walk away so you could have a development of that kind." He explained: "It would work well when the weather is fine but in the winter when everything changes, like any seasonal seaside resort, everyone has to batten down the hatches."
But he said: "I think the Bulloch Harbour development itself is probably dead in the water - if you would pardon the phrase."
Kenny added that any residential development in the area would need to be "so iron clad" that he said "it would need to be akin to building a lighthouse".
He said locals are not looking for much in their desire for an alternative plan. "Nobody wants the existing warehouse just to be abandoned there. People do want some kind of sensitive and appropriate development that would preserve the harbour. So if it is marine friendly, if it preserves the working harbour, if it is viable and doesn't offend common sense, that's all people are looking for.
"Developers obviously want to maximise investment, that's what they do. Foxes kill chickens, developers make money, and that's fine. I have no issue with them doing what they do because, without them, we would have no housing for anybody. So I don't have a quarrel with the development class - per se."
However, he said: "What they do should also be sensitive and appropriate and liveable in the long-term."
Kenny stressed that although he has been central to recent headlines surrounding the drive by locals to save Bulloch Harbour, the recent victory "wasn't down to me".
He said: "It was the local residents. They were terrific. There was a huge amount at stake for people who live in the harbour."