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Docklands plan will make area a ghetto, say locals

THE new Dublin Docklands masterplan for the North Wall area will result in a ghettos being formed, claim residents and leading academics.

The Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) for North Lotts and the Grand Canal Dock replaces the 1997 docklands plan and will fast-track planning, according to the Department of the Environment.

However, families in North Wall feel it is the "last roll of the dice for their community".

"The plan will divide the North Wall in two – the reality is this plan will destroy the North Wall," said Gerry Fay who has been the chairman of the North Wall Community Association for 25 years.

"It's only a matter of time before our worst fears are realised," added Mr Fay.

More than 300 residents are expected to gather tomorrow night for an emergency meeting ahead of a Bord Pleanala hearing on the SDZ this Tuesday.

"If we lose the appeal before board on Tuesday the future of this community will be dire," warned the chairman.

Fianna Fail councillor Mary Fitzpatrick said that the current plan, as passed by Minister Phil Hogan, could have the "effect of potentially ghettoising the area.


She added that not including areas such as Sheriff Street and the North East Inner city was a "missed opportunity".

Independent councillor Nial Ring said that the community hade "been let down time and time again by government and the DDDA and now they're fighting for their future".

Professor P.J. Drudy, a member of the DDDA until 2002 and who has spent 30 years working with the local communities in Dublin, added that the "bottom line was that community needs to be seriously listened to and involved in decision-making."

Councillor Fitzpatrick said that she was pessimistic about the likely outcome of Tuesday's crunch meeting.

She added: "From my understanding Bord Pleanala will not have the authority to address issues and concerns of the areas excluded from the SDZ."

However, a spokesman from Bord Pleanala told the Herald: "we have to look at the SDZ in the context of the area".