Task Force Report May ’09

Dublin Bay Task Force

Report to Minister John Gormley, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government

The following is an up-to-date report synopsising the work of the Dublin Bay Task Force in the last year since its establishment in May 2008.  The report further makes recommendations for future action on the sustainable development of Dublin Bay.  This report is endorsed by the all members of the Task Force together with those interested groups and individuals who took part in the public consultation process (see list for details).

1.     Introduction

The Dublin Bay Task Force, which was established in May 2008, agreed a programme of activities having regard to the terms set out by the Minister.  This programme included –

–         Discussion on recent and ongoing major projects in and around the Bay area 

–         The preparation of draft Terms of Reference for a Master Plan Study  

–         Recommendations for institutional arrangements for Integrated Coastal Zone Management  

–         Recommendations for Dublin Bay boundary jurisdiction

–         Recommendations for implementation of findings.

2.     Public consultation

The Task Force undertook wide public consultation including inviting written submissions and hosting a public meetings and a public information seminar.

3.     Master Plan for Dublin Bay

The terms of reference for a draft Master Plan for Dublin Bay was prepared by the Task Force in October, 2008.  Based on the Minister’s terms, the draft document proposed the following actions:-

  1. Create a vision for Dublin Bay that improves the quality of life for the citizens of Dublin reflecting the views of the Bay’s stakeholders.
  2. Define what is environmentally sustainable in Dublin Bay having regard to national implementation of relevant EU Environment Directives.
  3. Identify the impacts of current predicted climate patterns including global warming.
  4. Make recommendations regarding land use, amenities, transport and site designations.
  5. Provide guidance to the planning authorities on the type, scale and form of development which will be acceptable in defined locations around the Bay.
  6. Enable developments to proceed efficiently by clarifying issues and identifying requirements for coordination and consultation.
  7. Assist the public in understanding the future character of Dublin Bay, and its unique aspects.
  8. Set out how a balance might be struck between public and private investments.

4.     Strategic Objectives set by Dublin Bay Task Force

Taking on board the Master Plan ToR and the conclusions of the seminar on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), the Task Force members drew-up the following strategic objectives for Dublin Bay:- 

–         To provide a framework for the Integrated Coastal Zone Management of Dublin Bay.

–         Develop decision-making and planning models/frameworks for coastal communities in keeping with the principles of ICZM

–         To identify an adaptive working geographical extent for the Bay to progress the work of the DBTF in keeping with the principles of ICZM. 

–         To collate baseline data, establish a set of Guidelines for the sustainable development of the Bay and set up a continual monitoring system

–         To ensure a balanced assessment of the economic, social and environmental issues concerning Dublin Bay

–         Identify new opportunities for enhancing Dublin Bay as a resource for all its stakeholders.

–         To take account of all policies from EU to local level impacting on issues relating to the Bay

–         To fully identify the important infrastructural and other contributions that Dublin Port makes to the regional and national economies

–         To establish the implications for climate change on the bay area

–         To have regard to the cost effectiveness of proposed actions and deliverables

–         To assess whether Dublin Bay be given the status of an National Park

–         Above all to ensure that Dublin Bay is protected and developed in a sustainable manner for the generations to come.

5.     Recommendations for institutional arrangements for ICZM and legislative change

The structure as set out in appendix 1 is recommended by the members of the Task Force.  This structure will provide the Dublin Bay area with a democratic, fully inclusive structure which provides the Task Force with a mechanism for inputting its policy recommendations into the statutory regional and local planning systems.

This structure is the ideal mechanism for both formal recognition of the issues affecting Dublin Bay and for providing the legislative back-up necessary to implement the Dublin Bay Master Plan.  The process involves a series of constituent elements, namely:

a)       The issues to be investigated and developed will be agreed at a meeting of the Task Force 

b)       A designated Dublin Bay Officer and assisting Researcher (both with appropriate knowledge and expertise in terrestrial/marine planning) will be appointed to provide core and supplementary technical support and report writing expertise

 c)       Technical Working Groups will be set-up on thematic/geographic basis to develop position papers

d)      The draft position papers will be put before the Task Force and the Advisory Council for further developm

e)       The Task Force will ultimately decide the final version of all policies to be put to the Dublin Regional Authority for adoption.

f)        The final report, as adopted by the Dublin Regional Authority will be sent to the Regional Planning Guidelines officer for inclusion in the Review process of the Regional Planning Guidelines 2010-2022 for the Greater Dublin Area.

g)       When adopted by the Regional Planning Guidelines, implementation of the Dublin Bay policies will form part of the City and County Development Plans.


Benefits of Structure


The structure provides the Dublin Bay Task Force with a mechanism for ensuring overall co-ordination between the many authorities, State agencies and organisations whose remit includes the Dublin Bay area.  It further provides a mechanism for monitoring the future development of Dublin Bay to ensure it is being developed to its full potential, as both an asset of, and amenity for, the people of Dublin and visitors to the Capital.  Ultimately, the structure offers a democratic mandate to the planning of Dublin Bay and facilitates the future integration of terrestrial and marine planning through the Regional Planning Guidelines Review.


Simplicity of Approach


The Task Force propose to address the strategic issues of Dublin Bay from both thematic and geographic perspectives and to draw on the expertise available from within the organisations represented on the Task Force.  This method of operating will provide the Task Force with the ability to address key strategic issues and to develop policy approaches which will have regard to local/organisational plans and programmes.  It will further enable the development of a Master Plan for Dublin Bay at very little cost to the Irish tax-payer.


Stakeholder engagement


It is critical to the long term success of the Dublin Bay Master Plan that public consultation is fully engaged in.  This intrinsic and necessary process will include public meetings, workshops and other events.


Combined, these elements will better ensure: a) coherence between and within the structure as outlined herein; b) consensus building; c) public involvement; d) reinforcement of feedback mechanisms; and, e) provision of technical reports to be disseminated amongst the taskforce.




A dedicated website will be set up to disseminate all documents and report from workshops, meetings etc.



6.     Recommendations for boundary jurisdiction


The boundary jurisdiction for Dublin Bay Task Force will consist of an inner core and an outer core.  The inner core will represent the main jurisdiction of the Task Force, while the outer core area will be addressed by the Task Force on a case by case basis as issues arise.   The inner core will include the Burford bank and the outer should extend to the Kish lighthouse.  Greystones/Bray area will be included in the outer core as activities in this area can affect Dun Laoghaire Harbour.


Marine Side

From the Stack (Irelands Eye) clear of the Nose of Howth running along a line 339° degree and to include the Natura 2000 designated area around Howth Head and Irelands Eye extending inland into the Broadmeadow estuary.


The inner marine side boundary extending along the 339° degree angle extends beyond the Burford bank where it is intersected by a 235° line running from Martello Tower on Dalkey Island (Martello Tower and Muglins Lt 235°) but includes all of Dalkey Island extending to the mainland (southern tip of Sorrrento point, Latitude 53° 16’ 12” N) from the southern tip of Dalkey Island and/or any current or future Natura 2000 designated area associated or adjacent there with.  


The 339° and 235° lines intersect east of Burford Bank at an approximate longitude of 5° 59’.45” (W) and approximate latitude of 53° 18’.33” N.


It is proposed that an outer zone by delineated on the marine side at a further point in time and space.  It is furthermore proposed that Kish lighthouse 53°18.7′ N 5°55.3′ W be utilised as a marker for the outer boundary to be determined at a later date.   


Land side 

It was agreed that there should be an inner and outer core on the land side of the Bay, also.  The criteria used to decide on the land boundary includes:-


§         Physical factors

§         Socio-economic and environmental area

§         Bay area activities.


The inner core will include the electoral divisions (EDs) immediately adjacent to the coast from Howth to Dalkey.  The outer core will include grouping of Eds inside the River Basin Catchment Areas.


Map attached for information.



7.     Request from Dublin Bay Task Force


The Dublin Bay Task Force hereby requests the Minister to –


1.       Formally recognise the Dublin Bay Task Force and provide it with a new remit having regard to the findings and recommendations set out herein.

2.       Establish the formal structures recommended to prepare a Master Plan for Dublin Bay based on the Marine Strategy and the principles of ICZM.

3.       Provide the legislative back-up to enable the Task Force to undertake combined terrestrial/marine planning as part of the Regional Planning Guidelines Review and to implement the Dublin Bay Master Plan.

4.       Agree funding with the Director of the Dublin Regional Authority. 

22nd May, 2009


Appendix 1

 Integrated Coastal Zone Management of Dublin Bay



Institutional Arrangements


Dublin Regional Authority


29 elected representatives nominated from the four Dublin local authorities





Advisory Council


§         Residents Associations

§         Marine/Environmental Groups

§         Business & Tourism Sectors

§         Other politicians


Meets quarterly, provides comments on papers/reports produced by TWG and reports to Task Force

Dublin Bay Task Force


Key Stakeholders


Meets quarterly, prepares reports for DRA





This structure will be serviced by the Dublin Regional Authority through a dedicated

Dublin Bay Officer (with appropriate experience/expertise) and assisting Researcher


Technical Working Group 

Key staff nominated from stakeholders organisations


Meets regularly, prepares draft



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