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It’s all very well to say the project is ‘bearing fruit’ — but it’s poisonous.
The elephant in the room is EROSION. The disappearance of the North Beach. Now, there’s a pile of gravel or shingle down there, supposed to fix the loss of the cliffs and the fact that the beach disappears at high tide, something which I never saw before until Sisk arrived in Greystones>
But guess what?
It won’t work, because it’s too late. In summer 2008, only months after harbour construction began, Sean Quirke of WCC conspired with Sisk to halt the Bord Pleanala-mandated coastal protection programme.
Sisk was obliged by planning conditions to place 30,000 cubic metres of shingle along the beach, about 50 to 100 metres north of the Gap Bridge, to offset the effect of the construction of the breakwaters, which all experts agreed would increase erosion. And thereafter to place AT LEAST 6,000m3 per year, for ever.
Sisk never placed the initial 30,000m3, because Quirke moved the goalposts. At a Harbour Liaison Committee meeting in June 2008, he announced that the 30,000m3 would be placed “during construction”. Of the entire project!
That’s why there has been such rapid erosion, and why this measure won’t work. And that’s why the North Beach is, effectively, gone.
Then, let’s look at the work that has been done. And the multiple breaches of planning permission.
Car park paving: supposed to be granite setts, i.e. cut granite stone blocks. What is it? Some sort of composite — basically, granite dust plus glue. NOT setts.
Plaza paving: Is it really granite? I’ve been told it’s not.
Plaza trees: Not as specified in the planning conditions.
Galvanised railings along Cliff Road: Specified — marine stainless steel (much more expensive).
The ‘boatyard’ (on south pier): Forbidden to be used for boat storage — and what is it used for? Boat storage.
Portacabins and shipping containers: No planning permission for these. Not specified in the planning approval.
And as for those houses? Yuk! Ancient-looking designs from the builders’ Gothic playbook, circa 1970. Ugly, ugly, ugly — and completely out of sympathy with the Victorian environment.