Independent Media Centre Ireland

Save Bray Seafront

category wicklow | history and heritage | news report author Wednesday July 29, 2009 17:28author by Alyson Burke and Wayne Tobin - Save Bray Seafront Campaignauthor email savebrayseafront at gmail dot comauthor phone 0861540803

Protecting our Towns' seaside legacy

We announce the Launch of a campaign of opposition to the so called "Riveria" apartments close to seaside area in Bray. We intend to maximise the number of objections against any development proposals and build a grassroots movement based on "people power". We are also opposed to further slot machines in the area which may lead to serious addiction problems and can be a source of trouble within families. We will strongly oppose any plans for development in the one scenic area of Bray left. Instead our campaign believes investment should be concentrated in the town centre. Some of our other aims include campaigning for the re-instatement of the Blue Flag for our Beach which we had in 1991. We also demand greater transparency and accountability in the planning process.
Bray Beach with its original Blue Railings
Bray Beach with its original Blue Railings

Dear Members of the wider Community,

We invite you to you to join our campaign of protest Save Our Seafront (Bray) which includes opposing the development of apartments
in the seafront area of Bray. We are calling on anybody who agrees with our central aims (listed below) in relation to the seafront
and Bray Head area to get involved in this movement which we aim to build up in accordance with other groups like the Save Our Seafront Campaign in nearby Dun Laoire who we will be contacting for advice. Despite the economic recession coastal sites are eyed up by greedy developers whose aim is merely to make a profit from the coastline with an indifference for future generations and a general failure to look at the necklace of bad planning which has mushroomed in a haphazzard and adhoc manner throughout the country.

Writing in the The Book of Bray, Walker (1989:105) notes how " a particular develoment may mean a loss of public benefit out of all proportion to private gain". This is a key point and our campign refuses to be fooled that the development of Salou-Style apartments are of any real benefit to the the coastal zone with its maritime sea views. In fact, in other European Countries such as Spain many of these eyesores are being torn down! The seafront belongs to the people and it is people who deserve a right to have a say over the area which they live, not solely business elites and other vested interests. Walker (1989:105) further notes how "poor planning will result in the wasteful use of scarce resources, reduction in residential amenities, traffic conjestion and a diminution in the quality of life of the residents in the area". Why should people have to look at Benidorn style apartments that are completely out of touch with the Victorian nature and history of this locality? Indeed in "The Favourite Resort, The Story of Bray Co. Wicklow" Clare (1998) in a section on Victorian Bray, notes the failure to develop more appropriate tourist facilities like the "Turkish Baths, Floral Hall and Promanade Pier". Interestingly one must also question certain geographic aspects of the coastal erosion scheme from Bray and the knock-on effects this has had on the cliff walk. Why were the stones not covered with sand to promote bathing and why has Bray Lost the Blue Flag?

Our aims include:

1) Maxinmising the number of objections against the so-called "riveria" apartments at the current proposed site.

2) Opposing the development of apartments near the slopes of Bray Head or at the Harbour.

3) Campaigning for the re-instatement of the Blue Flag for Bray which it had in 1991.

4) Getting the seafront railings painted back to their original Blue Colour (they were painted black without public consultation).

5) Promoting Bray as a tourist destination.

6) Promotion of proper planning and the opposition to a quasi-consultation process.

7) Highlighting the issue throughout the internet to maximise the numbers involved.

This movement will offer an alternative vision for the seafront area in line with history and based on what will be of benefit to future generations. We strongly oppose any vision which includes large scale apartments and will work to build up a large campaign of protest. We will be ensuring that the campaign is not infiltrated by people who secretly support the development. We are not opposed to development in general and support investment in the town centre but we are completely opposed to luxury for profit apartments at our beach.

Contact information
To be added to our email list :
Press or other queries: 086 154 08 03 / 085-765 9347

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