Planning permission needed for erosion work
FUNDING from the Office of Public Works for coastal defence works on Burrow Beach in Portrane, which is being eaten away by the sea, is now at risk after it was decided the council needs to apply for planning permission to An Bord Pleanála for the works.
A large portion of €200,000 in funding provided for coastal and flood defence works in the county by the OPW in the wake of the New Year storms that battered our coastlines in January, was earmarked for works at Burrow Beach, where the damage caused by those storms was extensive.
But that funding has to be drawn down by the end of the year and with this latest delay in the project, it looks increasingly unlikely that works will be completed on the beach in time to benefit from the funding.
There is light at the end of the tunnel for concerned residents though, with a suggestion from senior council officials that councillors could vote for capital funding to go towards the project in Budget discussions later this year.
News that the project would need the full permission of An Bord Pleanála came at a meeting of the Balbriggan/Swords Area Committee, and Cllr Paul Mulville (NP), a resident of The Burrow himself, made the feelings of local residents clear.
He said there would be 'huge anger, disappointment and concern' from the people of Portrane with this latest news.
Cllr Mulville said that homes in the area were 'at risk of collapse' and he said he was now 'very worried' that the project would lose its funding.
Cllr Adrian Henchy (FF), also a resident of the peninsula, agreed and said that residents thought work on this project was 'imminent' and the planning process would now delay it.
Paul Smyth from the council's operations department said the council was 'disappointed ourselves' but said the professional advice was that the work required did need planning permission from An Bord Pleanála. He said he hoped to have that planning application lodged by the end of August and while he said the council would do all it could to complete the work by the end of the year, and draw down the funding, he acknowledged that would be 'unlikely'.
He said however, if the funding could not be drawn down, it did not stop the council for applying again next year or councillors would have the opportunity to allocate funding from the council's own resources in the Budget negotiations.