However, it is disappointing that the Board did not accept its own inspector’s view that the infill of 52 acres is in conflict with Government port policy, with the balanced development of the city, and with the need for flood protection. The sole ground for refusal is that the port failed to establish that the development would not damage the natural amenity of the bay. This narrow decision will leave the port hoping it can try again in the future.
The new Special Protection Order covering the entire bay from the Minister does not seem to have carried any weight with the board.
The tremendous work to stop the infill by the Clontarf Residents Association and Dublin Bay Watch has been vindicated by this decision. However the battle to protect the bay is not over.
The city development plan needs to develop a proper policy that accommodates essential port needs without encroachment on the natural amenity of the bay.