Nineteen-year-old images of 'plans' for development of the harbour and north beach area of Bray emerged online last week, with a post on the 'Bray Open Forum' Facebook group attracting almost 600 angry comments in a few days.
The drawings by Mahoney Architecture date back to the year 2001 and were never adopted by the council.
'There were grants available at that time from the Department of Environment to examine possible Public Private Partnerships (PPP) projects,' said Bray Municipal District Council in a statement.
'Bray Town Council applied for such a grant. A plan was produced by the architect and was discussed at a subsequent meeting of Bray Town Council. Following a financial assessment, it was recognised that the project would not qualify as a PPP. As a result, the plan did not progress any further.'
Separately, there is a current planning application currently with An Bord Pleanála for 126 apartments on a site adjacent to the harbour in Bray.
Bray Municipal District Council has also engaged a consultant to carry out a study at the harbour, to address a problematic build-up of silt.
The current planning application before An Bord Pleanála for the site of the Harbour Industrial Estate has no connection to the design from 2001. The board has sought further information for the Strategic Housing Development application made by Joseph Tynan to demolish existing structures and build 126 apartments. Under the SHD scheme, applications for developments of more than 100 units go directly to An Bord Pleanála rather than the planning authority of Wicklow County Council.
Also unconnected to the 19-year-old design is a study under way to address high levels of siltation rendering the harbour increasingly unusable.
'Consultants were engaged by the council in February 2020 to carry out a study on Bray Harbour,' said the council in a statement. 'This project requires the consultant to carry out detailed surveys, report on the options available to protect the harbour from storm conditions, look into options to provide additional berthing facilities including the possibility of providing a short term drop on/drop off berth for a small passenger vessel plying between different harbours within an hour or so of Bray.
'Information in relation to the coastline, which will inform harbour options, is currently being assessed and it is hoped to present this to the Bray Elected Members before the end of the year.'
The response online to the Mahoney Architecture drawings was overwhelmingly negative.
It all started with a post made by Cllr Tom Fortune to Bray Open Forum. 'I am hearing that there is talk that it (the harbour) is to be redeveloped,' he wrote, also advising people to 'Google plans For Bray Harbour'.
Another member of Bray Open Forum did just that and found a link to the drawings, which he posted, as 'the visual of proposed plans for the harbour.