Redevelopment for Alexandra Basin?

Dublin port 2

The Dublin Port Company has launched a planning application with An Bord Pleánala for the redevelopment of Alexandra Basin, at a cost of €200 million.

The plan, simply called the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project (ABR), would involve deepening of berths between East Link Bridge and the edge of Alexandra Basin, the expansion of land to allow cruise ships to dock, and redevelopment of the quay walls at North Wall Quay.

“Dublin Port Company’s ABR Project will give us the infrastructure, capacity and versatility needed to future-proof Dublin Port,” says Eamon O’Reilly, Chief Executive Officer of Dublin Port. “Dublin Port Company is committed to carrying out this project within our current footprint, re-developing and utilising existing port lands in the most efficient way possible, while financing the project from our own resources.”

The redevelopment, if planning permission is granted, will happen over the course of five years, with the creation of 200 construction jobs and a further 320 annually throughout the totality of Dublin Port’s redevelopment projects.

The ABR project represents the first phase in an ambitious master plan, which outlines a number of broad objectives Dublin Port hopes to meet over the coming years, such as optimising existing lands currently owned and operated by the Port, the redevelopment of quaysides, extending water depth, achieving closer integration with the city, the promotion of pedestrian cycle routes and the preservation of the local environment and heritage.

“This is the kind of boost the city needs and the port community needs,” says Fine Gael Councillor Kieran Binchy. “There’s a community there that has always worked in the port. I do have one problem: the port is causing a huge nuisance in terms of noise and I think the plan should involve a solution to those problems.”

Dublin Port launched the planning application, which under the Planning and Development Act can take up to twelve months to process, with An Bord Pleánala in March. In the meantime, Dublin Port have held a number of consultations with the public – including at Dublin Port HQ, in Clontarf, at the Sean O’Casey Community Centre in East Wall and Clanna Gael in Ringsend – which put the plans on public display.

“In principle, it is a good thing to expand the capacity of Dublin Port with the prospect of increasing tourism and generating revenue for our city,” said Frank Kennedy, Fianna Fáil local election candidate for Pembroke/ South-Dock. “There must be ongoing consultation with local residents, many of whom have suffered greatly because of the enormous levels of noise generated by Dublin Port.”

If the plan gets the green light, it would be the most ambitious redevelopment of the Basin area in over 200 years. The finalised development would mean doubling the amount of cruise ship activity in and around the port, which would in turn help fuel the local economy in Dublin 4.

“We have engaged with government, business and industry stakeholders, customers and local communities over the past year to help shape today’s planning application,” says Eamon O’Reilly.

Submissions or objections by the public are now closed, however Dublin Port Centre on Alexandra road is open weekdays from 9am–5pm to facilitate queries.

By Liam Cahill