Tolka Boardwalk Not Acceptable

25 August 2006

by Cllr Joe Costello

Deputy Joe Costello & Cllr Emer Costello welcomed the statement from M&P Construction stating that no work will take place on the proposed boardwalk over the next month pending the outcome of talks between the residents, the City Council, the builder, the OPW and Waterways Ireland. They further called on Dublin City Council to come to its senses on the issue and revoke the condition of the planning permission We have been negotiating with the City Council the Tolka Road residents and the developer on this and a number of other issues on this development on Richmond Road which impact significantly on the residents of Tolka Road facing the development. In this regard, we have organised four meetings between the main stakeholders over the last three months. As a result of today’s letter from the developer to the residents there is a window of opportunity to explore a solution to the problem. We believe that it makes no sense to build a boardwalk which starts nowhere and goes nowhere and which will not be accessible to the public for years to come. It is a modern day folly. At the same time as we know from the Liffey Boardwalk a river boardwalk will inevitably become a focus of anti-social behaviour. At the most recent meeting organised with the City Council residents stated their opposition to the Boardwalk on the following grounds: The proposed Boardwalk will lead to substantial anti-social activity such as drug abuse, drinking, littering, urinating into the river etc. Residents will be forced to watch this from their back gardens. Already residents suffer the above type of anti-social activity on match days or events in Croke Park. The Gardaí are supportive of the residents and see the Boardwalk as presenting major public order problems. The matter was discussed in detail at the last Community Policing Forum and Chief Superintendent Mick Feehan expressed his serious concern about the proposal. Residents on Tolka Road also stated that at present when there is a problem on the Tolka neither Ftizgibbon St nor Store Street will take the call as the problem is on the other side of the river it is the responsibility of Clontarf Garda Station. As the residents do not have an established relationship with Clontarf Gardaí, it can be difficult to get them to respond. There are issues of privacy and overlooking in their back gardens, and this was not taken into consideration. The Boardwalk will reduce the whole amenity value of their back gardens. The Boardwalk as proposed would was an anomaly as it would run only the length of the HB Dennis site. It was therefore a folly going nowhere and as such would be a focus of anti-social activity. It was outrageous that such a development as the Boardwalk did not have to go through a planning process as it would have a major impact on the residents facing the Boardwalk. There was no consultation on the part of Dublin City Council with residents prior to this condition being inserted. The residents believe that their rights were completely infringed because of this. The residents reserved the right to seek a legal opinion into the actions of Dublin City Council.