Sunday 24 March 2019

Councillors back €1m Bray Harbour rejuvenation plan

Bray Municipal District members allocate €200k towards scheme

Plans for Bray Harbour as envisioned by the Bray Harbour Joint Development Committee
Plans for Bray Harbour as envisioned by the Bray Harbour Joint Development Committee

Mary Fogarty

Bray Harbour Joint Development Committee made a presentation to Bray Municipal District last Tuesday evening, proposing a plan to rejuvenate Bray Harbour.

The likely cost of the project is estimated at around €1 million.

This was one of a number of projects to receive monies from a fund of €780,000 arising from the lands on the Southern Cross Road.

A marine consultant is to be engaged to see what is possible in the area. €200,000 was allocated at last week's meeting.

The proposal made to the members involves providing protection of the harbour from east/northeast by restoring the south harbour wall to approximately where it was before the collapse of the pier end and lighthouse in 1957, training and deepening the river to provide a deep water channel navigable at all stages of the tide and restoring the overall depth of the harbour to three hours either side of high water.

They said that this will enable the provision of a deep water berth for visiting coastal cruise ships carrying up to 200 passengers and deep water pontoons in the river channel for local harbour users, visitors and marine leisure commercial providers. It will also provide for an increased number of safe, revenue-generating moorings.

The provision of pontoons will mean that local people and visitors wishing to take to the water will now have easy inexpensive access to marine leisure activities at all stages of the tide.

This development, especially the pontoons, will give impetus to significant opportunities in the growing marine leisure commercial activity generating both increased spend and job numbers in the local economy.

For existing harbour users it will mean safe moorings navigable for longer and the possibility of being able to use boats all year round.

'There are very significant economic benefits to the local economy in terms of visitor spend, direct earnings from visitor mooring fees and increase in number of moorings available for letting,' the members heard.

The proposal also envisages the creation of an urban space in the southwestern corner of the harbour.

This has the benefit of not only creating additional amenity for local people and visitors but also provides a cost effective, environmentally friendly means of dealing with the surplus sand to be removed from the harbour floor.

The Bray Harbour Joint Development Committee is made up of members of the Bray Harbour Action Group (representing harbour users) and four representatives from Wicklow County Council.

Bray People