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Docklands residents angry at council's high-rise plan

RESIDENTS of one of the oldest surviving communities in Dublin's Docklands fear it will be obliterated if a high-rise plan is approved.

Twenty-four houses in Mayor Street Upper and New Wapping Street are surrounded by vacant sites earmarked for office and apartment blocks.

Under plans drawn up by Dublin City Council, buildings reaching up to seven storeys could be built on the lands.

"The concerns would be the height of what's beside us. The sunshine would be just gone and what tall buildings bring is this canyon effect, as in windswept," said Tony McDonnell of the North Port Dwellers Association.

"You've got the darkness and the loss of privacy."

The Luas runs directly in front of Mr McDonnell's home. Before the line was constructed, he and his neighbours lived in a cul-de-sac.

The council's Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) planning scheme for the docklands covers an area of 163 acres of riverside lands



If approved by An Bord Pleanala, all future applications within the zone must be granted permission if they are consistent with the scheme.

The board has been hearing oral submissions from a range of interested parties who gave a presentation last week.

Fianna Fail's Brian Mohan said: "There's basically no allowance for the houses on this street. 'This is what's happening lads, we're sorry about you' seems to be the attitude."

Mr McDonnell believes the intensity of the proposed development would lead to an increase in footfall on the roads around Mayor Street Upper.

At the oral hearing, he argued that the homes opening directly on to the footpath should be granted a "defensive space" by the council for extra security.

It would involve converting the existing pathway into front yards for six properties, giving them a buffer zone.

"The money that's going to come in from development fees, from builders, it's reasonable to expect a defensive space," he said.