Alliance Councillor Clarke Says Dundrum Coastal Defence Must Be Repaired
NEWCASTLE Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke is calling for the urgent repair of parts of the historic sea defence walls in Dundrum.
Speaking following the recent storms, Councillor Patrick Clarke believes the sea walls, which stretch from the local Dundrum Gaelic club through the Greenbanks Council picnic area to the start of Keel Point, is not only a safety hazard but has been further damaged following the recent storms and very high spring tides.
The recent storms which battered the East Down coast have further weakened the walls built to protect the former railway line that once ran through Dundrum to Newcastle.
He said: “Following the recent storms across Down District I have been contacted by a number of very concerned constituents regarding the sea defence walls in Dundrum village particular near the Greenbanks Council picnic area and also at the back of Murlough Bay Court apartments and Dundrum Bay Holiday apartments.”
“Following an inspection with several constituents from Dundrum I was very surprised how bad parts of the sea defence walls actually were along the Greenbanks and near the Murlough Bay Court apartments and also at the other Council picnic area below Murlough Quay apartments. Parts of the sea defence walls have further collapsed with stones and boulders lying on the shoreline and it is clear to see that through time further erosion will occur.
“One elderly constituent who lives in Murlough Bay Court which faces onto the Dundrum sea defences wall near the Greenbanks is so concerned about the recent damage caused by the storms that she is worried that the garden may collapse because of the erosion and recent damage.
“The problem is only going to get worse and more expensive to fix unless the Council take urgent and affirmative action to repair and prevent further damage to the sea defence walls.
“Back in October 2013 I raised concerns regarding part of the historic sea defence wall below the Council picnic amenity area beside Murlough Quay in Dundrum which was deteriorating and collapsing. Down District Council subsequently agreed to carry out emergency repairs and maintenance to part of the historic sea defence wall but due to this work not being fully completed further damage has been subsequently caused as a result of the recent storms.
“I previously raised my concerns about the overall poor state of the sea defence walls along the Dundrum village coastline with Building and Estates back in April 2012 but Council have been investigating ownership and a number of legal aspects of their responsibility to maintaining parts of the sea defence walls near the Greenbanks and Murlough Bay Court apartments.
“I would therefore like Down District Council to take lead responsibility in the overall repair of the sea defence walls in Dundrum. If it is a question of finance I am sure there are funding streams open to Down District Council which would allow for funding to carry out major repairs to the sea defence walls in Dundrum.
“The time has now come for Down District Council to carry out immediate repairs before the sea defence walls in Dundrum are allowed to continue to be damaged and weakened. I have now raised the matter with Council and have asked for the matter to be tabled at the next Building and Estates committee meeting.”