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Greens urge caution with Bray Town Centre development

Date: 23 July 2020

The new developer of the Bray Golf Club lands has applied to Wicklow County Council for an extension to the existing planning permission on the site.

The permission, which was due to expire in August, permits 603 residential units, a large shopping centre, 8 screen cinema, a hotel, 6 bars and 11 restaurants on the Wicklow portion of the site.

The Dun Laoghaire portion of the site has permission for 348 apartments and an extension for that permission has also been sought from that local authority.

In total, the site which was to be known as Bray Town Centre has permission for almost 1000 residential units and is the second largest residential development in the north of the county after the huge Fassaroe lands development.

I would expect a revised planning application at some stage on the site which is likely to increase the residential offering and largely reduce the hospitality and retail aspect.

For many years the zoning of land by local councillors has been contentious due to its flood plain status. The River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme was completed in 2018 which provides a level of flood defence for the residents and business on Little Bray. The Green Party in Bray has argued that the provision of flood defences does not eliminate the risk of flooding. With the increase in storms and rainfall due to climate change these defences may not offer the necessary protection that they were designed for and we sought some element of the flood plain be retained in any development.

During the Local Area Plan, I proposed a linear Park along the river joining the Peoples Park to Bray Harbour. This would have provided an opportunity to link the park and the harbour and also provide an element of flood plain. Unfortunately this proposal was voted down by the majority of Wicklow County Councillors.

Should a new planning application be lodged, I will again be making a submission for the creation of a town centre linear park on the north bank of the river. This site can accommodate a good mix of housing which is needed development whilst still providing a town centre recreational space that can also offer some level of flood mitigation.



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