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Dublin's €230m redevelopment plan to accommodate larger ships gets go-ahead

Dublin's €230m redevelopment plan to accommodate larger ships gets go-ahead
Dublin Port Company has said it hopes to start construction ‘within months’ on a €230m project to extend capacity, including cruise infrastructure, following the go-ahead from An Bord Pleanála, the independent body which decides on appeals from planning decisions made by local authorities in Ireland.

Piling and dredging of the Liffey and the demolition of part of the North Wall extension will be part of a five year plan to open up the port to larger cruise ships and increased container traffic.

The Alexandra Basin Project was given planning permission by An Bord Pleanála despite objections from Drogheda and Dun Laoghaire ports and an oral hearing.

The planning board rejected previous plans for a 21 hectare infill of Dublin Bay in 2010 because of environmental concerns.

Dublin Port is Ireland’s largest port and 2015 will be a record year for cruise with nearly 100 ships bringing 200,000 visitors to Dublin expected for the full year.  

At present, the bigger cruise ships like MSC Splendida, Royal Princess and Celebrity Silhouette have to reverse up the Liffey and access is restricted by tides.

The new plan will allow cruise ships to berth and turn around at the East Link bridge with the depth of the river increased from seven to 10mtr.  This will create a positive economic impact for the city and enhance inbound tourism. As part of the proposal the Dublin Port Company will give €1.6m and 10.5 hectares of land it owns on Bull Island to Dublin City Council which plans to construct a visitors centre there. 

Chief executive of Dublin Port Company Eamonn O'Reilly has said finance is ready and the first construction works should begin by October, subject to further consents from the Environmental Protection Agency and a foreshore licence from the Department of the Environment.