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  • Northside East

Dredging project meeting held 

Friday, 22nd March, 2019 1:00pm
Dredging project meeting held 

The dredging project is eagerly awaited in Howth. FILE PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

Dredging project meeting held 

The dredging project is eagerly awaited in Howth. FILE PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

OFFICIALS from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine met with Fingal councillors recently to discuss progress on a dredging project for Howth.

At the meeting the department provided a detailed update regarding the plans to dredge the harbour to deal with the problem of siltation.

A number of investigative and preparatory works and initiatives have been undertaken, the results of which are critical to the final design and methodology for the delivery of a future dredge project.

The department said it has also had discussions with Fingal County Council on various technical, operational and permitting aspects of the project.

A spokesman for the department said this will be a very complex project across a number of fronts. “Confirmation that the concentrations of contaminants in the sediment to be dredged are such that while the material cannot be considered inert, it can be classified as non hazardous,” he told Northside People.

“This means that dumping at sea will not be permitted. This has a significant effect on the project cost.  

“A variety of factors will impact on the cost of a potential dredging project including the disposal options, overall scale of the project, and market factors. While the final scope and costs remain to be set, it is likely that the overall cost will exceed €20 million.

“The department is engaged in an ongoing pre-planning process with Fingal County Council to come to a common understanding with regard to moving the project forward.”  

It is the department’s view that an option to re-use the dredged material to the west of the West Pier as part of the methodology for the project is the most effective, efficient option. 

It is estimated that circa 225,000 cubic metres of silt will need to be removed from the harbour in the event of a full harbour dredge. 

This could be equated to an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 possible truck movements, if it was to be removed by road from the harbour.

The spokesman said if the option to re-use the material is not possible, the potential costs of the project increase significantly and the overall scope of the project would have to be re-examined.

“Any future development of potential land reclaimed will be subject of further discussion and would in itself require permitting in any event,” he said. 

The project will require planning permission, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and a Waste License which are being progressed. It is expected that this process could take up to 18 months.

The spokesman added: ”As is the case with all developments in the six Fishery Harbour Centres, any future decision with regard to initiating a full dredging works project in Howth will only be considered on the basis of available exchequer funding and competing national priorities.” 

Howth-based councillor Cian O’Callaghan (SD) was among those who attended the meeting.

“The proposed dredging is welcome news for users of Howth Harbour – both people working in the fishing industry and people who use the harbour for leisure,” said Cllr O’Callaghan. 

“This will ensure continued access to the harbour for vessels into the future.

“I am calling on the department to consult and engage extensively with the local community about the proposed infill adjacent to the West Pier. Definitive plans for future use and how this area could be used to enhance the amenity of Howth Harbour should be published and form part of the planning application that is expected later this year.”

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