New discussion document on future of Dún Laoghaire town published – McCann

Published on: 19 April 2014


Fianna Fáil local election candidate for the Dún Laoghaire ward, James McCann, has published a new discussion document on the condition of Dún Laoghaire town. The document, titled Dún Laoghaire: What’s the plan? discusses the various key concerns for the town including parking, retail, the seafront and future planned developments.

Launching the document James McCann said “The future direction of Dún Laoghaire town needs to be discussed and put top of Dún Laoghaire – Rathdown County Council’s (DLRCC) agenda for the coming five years. Dún Laoghaire has the potential to become one of Ireland’s leading coastal destinations and that potential needs to be harnessed. There is enormous support for the town locally which is why I decided to produce this document in order to inform and encourage the discussion on how that can be achieved.”

“Dún Laoghaire seafront is likely to become a leading tourist destination over the next five years with the growth in visits by cruise ships and the building of an Irish Diaspora Centre expected to attract one million plus visitors annually if it goes ahead. Without a retail strategy for the town for the next five years the potential for the town to benefit from tourism and wider custom will be lost along with the chance for businesses to thrive and the generation of local employment.”

“Parking is a significant issue that needs to be addressed. There is no car park catering directly for the town and on-street parking is completely inadequate. This issue needs to be addressed so the reputational damage Dún Laoghaire has suffered in recent years can be reversed and be a inviting place to visit once more.”

“Politicians are not experts in urban renewal, it is those who own businesses, who shop and are employed in the town that have the expertise in what improvements need to be made. I am asking for feedback, suggestions and ideas for the town based on the issues covered in the document. I intend to publish the suggestions in September to explore what suggestions can be implemented and common ground be found on amongst the various stakeholders in the town.”

“There is an urgent need to stop the haemorrhaging of jobs and businesses in the town in the short term, improve the retail mix in the medium term with a long term aim of turning Dún Laoghaire into a leading retail and leisure destination,” concluded McCann.

Download the plan in full here

Dún Laoghaire facts and figures:

· There are currently 6,242 people on the Live Register in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area.

· 40% of those on the Live Register live in the greater Dún Laoghaire area.

· There is an opportunity to create 400-480 (est.) retail jobs in Dún Laoghaire town


The Seafront:

· The East and West Pier attract 2m+ visitors per annum

· Ferry passenger numbers have declined from 1.3m to 250k over 15 years

· Cruise ships will bring 100k passengers ashore to Dún Laoghaire per annum by 2016

· Seafront festivals can attract up to 100k visitors


Retail and the perception of Dun Laoghaire town:

· Leisure activities are the key reason for visiting Dún Laoghaire

· 100-120 retail units are empty around Dún Laoghaire town

· Spending has declined from €37 to €32 in three years

· Only 10% of visitors to Dún Laoghaire do so to shop

· Only 8% of visitors identify Dún Laoghaire as a favoured shopping destination

· 19% of visitors identified parking as a lead reason for not visiting Dún Laoghaire

· 50% of visitors identified product availability/quality and variety as a reason for not visiting Dún Laoghaire town

· 43% view Dún Laoghaire as a family friendly destination

· There are 311 retailers in Dún Laoghaire town

· The retail mix is heavily reliant on small independent retailers at 55%

· Dún Laoghaire is ranked 2.4 on a retail quality index compared to 3.4 for Blackrock and 7.4 for Dundrum

· 54% of all visitors to the town come from the greater Dún Laoghaire area

Future planned developments:

· Implementation of Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company’s Masterplan is underway

· Planned Harbour projects expected to attract 1.2m additional visitors per annum

· Dún Laoghaire Central Library & Cultural Centre expected to attract 500k visitors per annum

· Plans for Dún Laoghaire Baths have been approved and alterations to the People’s Park are underway

Parking:

· There are 2,594 private and public (with residents permits taken into account) car parking spaces in and around Dún Laoghaire town

· There are 11 suppliers of parking around the town

· The average walk to the town centre from a car parking space is 5-7 minutes

· DLRCC only controls 11.2% of parking spaces in the town

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