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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Clontarf promenade and flood defences: Dublin City Council tries to fix lack of information with even less information

Update 2015 the issue of the flood defence wall and path at Dollymount is different and is being discussed by me and others on boards.ie.

Review of the Clontarf Flood Defence Wall And Esplande Clontarf Flood Defence Wall And Esplande via Turas byb Johanna Varghese and Myles Farre.
starts page 175


new modelling exercise of the level of flood defence required scheduled to be completed at the end of May 2015.

There are resource issues hampering the progress of this Project. September 2014

Clontarf Promenade Development Scheme: DCC : Tommy Broughan 06/2014

Clontarf Promenade Development Scheme: DCC
Flood Defence Unit informed the North Central Committee in May that there was an agreement with the Joint Working Group that consultant hydrologists would be contracted to model a possible twin wall flood reduction measure and that preliminary environmental studies were being carried out. A recommendation will soon be made on whether an E.I.S. will be required due to the
revised proposal.

Update August 2013 via Clontarf RA

After reading through all the information that is available I've come to realise this current working group has little to do with the flood defence berm and is only dealing with temporary landscape issues and was primarily established to keep the residential/business association that complained feeling important until they restart the actual planning process for the berm. This Herald headline is rubbish Flood walls may be axed in new plans consultation.

A Dail question on 16th July Brian Hayes on behalf of OPW

Update July 4th via Clontarf RA


Original Post.( 2 days after I wrote this an update was provided via the CRA/CBA )

Dublin City Council (DCC) had been planning to build a flood berm along along 3km of Clontarf coastline in 2011, but locals objected to the height of the berm or wall as they called it. After a campaign the plan was suspended by the council. DCC are reviving the plan again but now only consulting one 'stakeholder group' with minutes of meetings only coming out months afterwards repeating the mistakes of restricting information which caused the problem the first time.

A lot of local people were generally aware and in favour of the plan to build a berm but were surprised by the final height of the berm which in places would be above eye-level and visually obstruct the promenade pathways and the sea from the seafront Clontarf road. They feared this would spoil the amenity area and cut off the safety of passive surveillance from the road to the public using the promenade paths. The council offered to reduce the height by half a metre in places but this did not satisfy the objectors, who were dissatisfied by the whole process. Statement on behalf of joint CRA/CBA committee following meeting with DCC. This may have satisfied me personally not being so concerned by the views but by the flooding, but I can understand how the lack of active public consultation and pre-visuals prompted this reaction, I was not surprised the plan was stalled. It was the councils fault, not the public.

Council officials later admitted that the public consultation process was “minimal” and “didn’t work”.
Irish Times 5th Dec 2011

Seamus Lyons, Assistant City Manager admitted that ‘the message did not get through’, adding ‘for that we take responsibility.
via Cllr Jane Horgan October 12, 2011


The plan began in 2005 partly in response to tidal flooding in 2002 and 2004 (See floods.ie for 2004 flooding report. A study was carried out by Royal Haskonin looking at flooding along the whole of Dublin Bay area and which presented options to deal with a future 1 in 200 year flooding event at the Clontarf coast road. Flooding has damaged houses and blocked the busy R807 Clontarf regional road several times, often due to coinciding pluvial(rain) flooding which is somewhat separate problem to that of tidal flooding. The council needed to place a north city water main along the Clontarf Road and decided in 2006 to merge the projects and place the water pipe under the berm. The project was processed as the North City Watermain and Clontarf Flood Defence Project under the new Strategic infrastructure development (SID) rules in 2007 where it was sent straight to the national planning board rather then through the local council planning processes first, requiring the public to pay 50 euro to make a submission and approved in 2008. The issue went quiet in 2009 and 2010 as tendering and planning for construction was worked on. The SID rules seem to have been counter productive. SID rules require that 'stakeholders' are informed and the council may be sticking to this reuirement by only consulting with one stakeholder group, repeating the error of this SID process.

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD Dublin North Central TD and former local councillor describes the history of the projects planning from his perspective. Government Response via Minister for OPW Brian Hayes

He highlights the lack of engagement on the project, The required Environmental Impact Statement wasn't shown widely in the local area or put online. There was only two poor drawings suggestion the heights of the berm, published in realtion to the North Arterial Water Main neither which really conveyed to the public the impact of the project.




The council only produced more information and visuals of the berm heights when people and councillors started to protests about their surprise at the height of the berm as it was nearing construction.


Plan revived 2012

In 2012 DCC revived the plan to tackle the flooding issue, after all the controversy with the lack of public information the first time the Council administrative management and the councillors decided that best way to deal with the lack of information is to give out even less information by restriction the consultation to councillors and just one local lobby group the Clontarf Residents Association and Business Association that were most vocal the last time, no residential association ever represents all residents. An initial meeting was held in regard to the Clontarf Flood Defence Scheme on 23rd of October 2012 but the report of this wasn't published till March 6th 2013, 6 months later, where they decided to recognise the importance of planning for the promenade by changing the name of the project to the Clontarf Promenade Development and Flood Defence Project Further meetings were held in January and February and 3 months later still no information is coming out of them, I have contacted the councillors and council and no-one will share any information about the contents of the meeting (more of which happening this week 06/2013) or acknowledge that a 6 month delay in information is not public consultation or explain why restricting information to one lobby group is appropriate response to the deficiencies in the public consultation last time.

"Contrary to some media reports, those privy to the plans say there is no proposal to build a controversial flood barrier."
CRA/CRB spokesperson I presume they mean "yet". because what else are they talking about other then the plan to build flood defences.

"The consultation and discussions are via the local representative group referred to this has been agreed by the City Council and the elected members."
- council projects official.

Dublin City Council and councillors conspiring to withhold information about Clontarf flood berm from the wider public.

I have seen before how hostile an opinion council planning, engineering staff and consultants have for the general public and councillors, they treat them as stupid, and some how this instinct suggests to them they should restrict the information flow even more in-case a member of the public or the media misinterprets something, which certainly does happens, but Dublin City Council is trying to fix lack of information with even less information.

The solution obviously is more information as soon as possible so we can all debate the merits of the project.

a collection of clontarf berm links

Clontarf Promenade Development and Flood Defence Project: Update 6th March 2013

The Environmental Impact Statement

Additional berm visuals

DCC flooding handout 11/07/2011

Dublin City Council Statement 11/11/2011

Clontarf Promenade Development and Flood Defence Project

Clontarf Residents Association

DCC flooding presentation

Dublin Coastal Flooding study

Dublin Coastal Flooding presentation

Images of Clontarf Coast flooding

Storm floods in Clontarf 13.12.12

Dec 2012

dublinlocal Dec 2012
Temporary flood protection 1 2

Discussion

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