Save our Seafront's logo shows people bearing a giant lifebuoy, symbolising people power mobilising to protect our seafront !
Save our Seafront (SOS) is a voluntary, non-party-political, community organisation established in 2002 based in Dun Laoghaire Co Dublin, Ireland.
We are committed to protecting our coastal and marine environment and to preserving our foreshore in public ownership for the continued access & enjoyment of the people. We take part in & make submissions to any public consultations relating to these areas & campaign to oppose any unsuitable development on our seafront and foreshore. (The foreshore is the seabed and shore below the line of high water of ordinary or medium tides and extends outwards to the limit of twelve nautical miles - approx 22.24 km).
Our particular focus is the Dun Laoghaire area, but our interest extends to Ireland's entire foreshore, coastal & seafront regions. Our organisation is a member of the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Public Participation Network
Save our Seafront committee members & supporters campaign on a voluntary basis on various issues relating mainly to the wider Dun Laoghaire and Dublin Bay seafront areas. The Dun Laoghaire area is fortunate to have one of the most beautiful harbours in the world with a backdrop of a stunning bay.
We in SOS see it as our brief to defend the integrity of this heritage, to hand it on intact to the next generation and to ensure that public access is always maintained on the seafront, which belongs to the public.
We coordinate our efforts with other local & national groups who wish to protect our coastline, including environmental & wildlife groups as well as business & tourism interests.
The present SOS committee members for 2018 are:
Anne Carter, Derek Sheil, Bob Waddell, Lola Hynes, Fergal McLoughlin,
Anne Martin, Paul O'Brien, Valerie Lagrave, Jim Curtis, Mary McLaughlin Beck, Cllr Melisa Halpin, Lynn McKee.
The present Chairperson of SOS, who is also a founder member, is Richard Boyd Barrett, TD.
HISTORY OF SOS
Save our Seafront was born when some members of the public came together in 2002 to ask that the derelict Victorian baths at Dun Laoghaire be restored. They continued to pursue this issue for many years and named their group Save our Seafront. In 2005 the Council put forward a plan to erect an apartment block on the baths site. SOS were opposed to this as they wanted the baths to be restored & they also felt that the seafront was an inappropriate place for private residential or commercial development
Save our Seafront organised a protest march & rally which 5000 people attended & this public protest stopped the development. The Council finally intends to restore the Baths shortly which is to be welcomed - even if it has taken 12 years. Unfortunately, at present there is no provision for a swimming facility to be included.
Since then, Save our Seafront has found it necessary to continue to monitor the many proposals, some totally unsuitable, put forward for various developments on our seafront & foreshore, for example:
>Council proposal in 2003 for construction of a 127-bed hotel & 229 apartments on the Carlisle pier – did not proceed
>Council proposal in 2005 for construction of an 8-storey apartment block of 180 apts & retail units involving reclaiming 5 acres of the sea (the Baths site) - did not proceed
>Council proposal in 2008 for a €129m redesign of the seafront between East Pier & Sandycove "Concepts A & B" involving construction of an artificial lagoon at the East Pier or an artificial beach at Newtownsmith - did not proceed
>Council proposal in 2009 for a highrise library building on seafront – did proceed despite SOS submitting objections to the size & location
>Harbour proposal for a Marina village at the back of the West Pier near the sewage works - part of the current Harbour MasterPlan - this land is presently (Aug 2015) being advertised for sale by the Harbour Co. SOS are opposed to sale of harbour land and to residential development in our harbour.Update Dec 2017: SOS understands that the site behind West Pier has been acquired for the purpose of parking trucks there & SOS continue to monitor the situation
>Harbour proposal for a Badeschiff floating pool & urban beach at the East pier – SOS made a submission objecting to this proposal however planning approval was granted in May 2015. It would appear that this proposal has been abandoned.
>Providence Resources proposal: Oil rig 6km from shore – project was temporarily on hold - licence was granted 2016 for Phase 1 exploratory drilling until August 2018. SOS continues to maintain a watching brief
>Wind farm 10km from shore – appears to be on hold. SOS continues to maintain a watching brief
>Harbour proposal for a 333 metre 'Super Cruise Ship' terminal in the centre of the harbour which would effectively bisect our unique elegant almost 200-yr old harbour & seriously affect traditional harbour activities - SOS facilitated a meeting of stakeholders 24 March 2015 to gather views & hosted a public meeting on 30 April 2015. On behalf of our supporters SOS made a submission August 2015 to An Bord Pleanala objecting to this proposal - a decision is expected from ABP by January 2016 . A further packed public meeting on this subject on 7 Sept agreed unanimously to lobby our public representatives to prevent cruise berth, residential or commercial development or sale of harbour. Save our Seafront's 'Alternative Vision for Dun Laoghaire Harbour' document was launched at the meeting. An Bord Pleanala planners rejected the proposal, however, were overruled by their Board, who approved the cruise berth at a reduced length of 250m. Save our Seafront took a judicial review against this decision & after much hard work, won the case on environmental grounds as An Bord Pleanala conceded defeat in April 2017. It remains open for the Harbour company to submit a revised application.
>Controversial Bulloch Harbour Plan:
Developer Bartra Capital proposed to build seven ground-floor commercial units in place of a number of disused buildings at Bulloch Harbour as well as six private residential three-storey terraced dwellings and three houses to the rear (5x3bed & 1x1bed plus 3 huge cube-shaped dwellings behind). Following a campaign by Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association and Save our Seafront, thankfully there was a victory for People Power in Round 1 as Council refused permission in February 2017 for this wholly inappropriate development at Bulloch Harbour. Update: A revised but still inappropriate proposal was submitted in December 2017 - SOS will be supporting BHPA & opposing this new proposal. Submissions may be made to the planning authority - final date for receipt 5 February 2018
>Harbour Company seeking expressions of interest Sept 2017 via the State’s eTenders website for the development of as many as 50 single-storey homes, which would float on a pontoon on the western side of the Coal Harbour Dock beside the Ice Box Fish Shop.
>Tech Centre in Dun Laoghaire Harbour - planning permission is being sought for change of use of the former ferry terminal building in Dún Laoghaire Harbour, from duty-free shops and passenger services to a 450-job technology cluster.
> Bus Depot In Dun Laoghaire Harbour -
Proposal to park as many as 20 buses overnight for up to seven years at the former Stena HSS vehicle compound in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.
Details of the application on Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s planning website indicate that a change of use is also sought to employ the existing freight ticket office as staff facilities for Go-Ahead Transport Services, with no alterations proposed.