DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby Bago » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:07 am

gunter wrote:Image
the vista from the quays ends in an anonymous bit of the side cladding [stainless steel] of the new theatre.

Better photography would probably make this look fantastic, but is it fantastic?

Bit like the graphics from a late 90s computer game!
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:16 am

<object width="400" height="225"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=9559500&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=ffffff&fullscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=9559500&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=ffffff&fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="225"></embed></object><p>Video walk through Dublin's Docklands</p>
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby gunter » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:05 am

One upshot of the whole DDDA débacle is that we'll probably never again attempt to hothouse the regeneration of a whole urban district in this way, and this would be a real shame.

Urban regeneration needs to be incubated, it needs to be tended to and fostered, if you try an let nature take it's course, nine times out of ten, it withers and dies, but at the other extreme, if you just pump it full of commercial steroids, you create a monster.

We're probably going to hear a lot in the coming days about how the DDDA was riddled with fundamental flaws and systemic failures [all the current jargon], but the real problem was probably the same old flaw that you find in every ultra pro-active agency; people getting carried away and making bad judgements.

To me, the first sure indication that sound judgement had left the DDDA building was the whole 'Liffey Island' saga. No agency with a real understanding of Dublin, let alone one charged with regenerating a significant chunk of the city, would have allowed a concept as daft as that out of the think-tank and into the Liffey [almost].

But again, that's not a fundamental, systemic, flaw, it's just someone high up not exercising sound judgement when it was called for and the consequences of that are not just that buckets of public money went down the tubes, it's that no politician will now be brave enough to set up something like the DDDA again, when this is exactly the time when we need pro-active powerful agencies to drive and direct urban regeneration and stop the next wave of development falling into the hands of the headless chickens that ran the roost the last time.

That's proably enough mixed metaphors for one post.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby StephenC » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:42 pm

Here here!
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DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby Rusty Cogs » Mon May 17, 2010 4:25 pm

(there may well be a thread for this but my search function is bust)

What was going to be Anglo's new headquarters on the north Quay's, the concrete skeleton owned by the property developer formally known as Liam Carroll. I understand that premission to retain this building is currently with An Bord Pleanala and has been for over a year.

Does anyone know if ABP is planning on making a decision on this any year soon ?
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby gunter » Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:14 pm

From the Irish Times today

Time for DDDA to be put out of its zombie-like misery

The key question about the Dublin Docklands Development Authority is whether it has any use or purpose now, writes FRANK MCDONALD

IT IS no accident that the longest stretch of the Liffey Quays is named after James Butler, the great Duke of Ormonde. He had spent the Cromwellian years in exile with King Charles II in Paris and was so impressed by quays on the Seine that, as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland after the Restoration in 1660, he ordained that Dublin’s relationship with its river should be similarly reordered.

The Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) and its top people either didn’t know or care about this essential historical fact, or its implied imperative that the line of the Liffey quays simply had to be retained. With supreme arrogance, they devised an “Occupy the River” project in collaboration with Dutch architects, involving the creation of an island between Spencer Dock and The Point.

First presented as a concept to the DDDA’s board in November 2005, it was fleshed out a year later by director of architecture John McLaughlin and West 8 Architects from Rotterdam as “Liffey Island: a new canal would define the northern, eastern and western edges with high-density, high-rise buildings, including skewed towers pushing out into the Liffey”, as Declan Brassil Co’s planning report notes.

The Dutch know all about making land; they’ve been doing it for centuries. But the most apt role model for what the DDDA had in mind was surely Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Makhtoum, the ruler of Dubai, with his artificial islands in the Arabian Gulf. The object of the exercise, both there and here, was to manufacture real estate – in Dublin’s case, by creating a “mini-Manhattan” rising up from the river.

It was in pursuit of this audacious idea that the DDDA made an agreement with Liam Carroll, after he acquired the Brooks Thomas site on North Wall Quay. Under this dubious deal, he agreed to cede to the authority, free of charge, some of the land it needed as a springboard for “occupying the river” in return for its green light for an office development that contravened its own North Lotts Planning Scheme.

It is deeply ironic and coincidental that this was to be the future headquarters of Anglo Irish Bank, given that its chairman, Seán FitzPatrick, was a member of the DDDA’s board and Lar Bradshaw, the DDDA’s chairman, was a non-executive director of Anglo. And the bank was providing a loan of €293 million for the acquisition of the Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend by a consortium that included the DDDA.

By then, of course, the DDDA had lost the run of itself entirely. It didn’t need to own a quarter of the Ringsend site (valued at “Nil” in its most recent accounts) since it would ultimately be exercising its planning powers to determine what was built there. But there was an atavistic determination to revert to old Custom House Docks site scenario under which the authority held actual ownership, rather than mere control.

It was the inherent conflict between its dual role as a development agency and planning authority that led to the DDDA coming a cropper. In the North Lotts case, as the Brassil report points out, other property owners there were “entitled to rely on the fact that any development undertaken would be consistent with” the statutory planning scheme, in the interests of “transparency, fairness and equity”.

When one of them, Seán Dunne, sought a judicial review of the deal it had done with Liam Carroll, the game was up. Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan, in her October 2008 judgment, upheld Dunne’s complaint of bias on the DDDA’s part and quashed its decision to approve Carroll’s office development for Anglo Irish Bank on the basis that it did not comply with the terms of the North Lotts Planning Scheme.

Paul Maloney, the DDDA’s former chief executive, is now being portrayed as having been engaged in a series of “solo runs”. But whatever about details being withheld from the board, the minutes show that its members – including Mary Moylan, assistant secretary in the Department of the Environment – were not only aware of but gave their approval to the fateful decisions that led to the present debacle.

However, as the Brassil report says, “there has been a ‘light touch’ approach by the Department both in relation to its wider sponsorship of the authority and its planning responsibilities”. The DDDA was perceived as a “success”; after all, it had the “considerable achievement” of having engineered the “dramatic transformation” of Dublin’s Docklands, so why rock the bureaucratic boat?

The direct result of all these shenanigans is that the DDDA is in a “fragile position”, as its new chairwoman, Prof Niamh Brennan, has conceded. Although the loans associated with the Irish Glass Bottle site transaction have now been reversed into Nama, the authority must pay interest (€5 million a year) to Anglo and is “incapable of operating on a break-even basis with this annual liability”.

But really, the financial issue is a red herring that should not distract attention from the more fundamental question about whether the DDDA has any purpose or utility at this stage. Most of its top people are now gone, staff numbers have been slashed by more than half over the past year and, whereas Prof Brennan is unimpeachable, the organisation over which she presides has entered a zombie-like state.

It can no longer do anything – good, bad or indifferent – and should be put out of its misery as quickly as possible, leaving Dublin City Council to assume planning powers over the Docklands area.


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

That's all grand and all, but with the honourable exception of Cagey, Rusty Cogs and an assortment of other archiseek oddballs, why was nobody else saying this at the time?

The minute we first set eyes on this ''Liffey Island'' / ''new canal'' scheme it was clear as day that someone in the DDDA had lost the run of themselves, but yet it didn't seem to set off any alarm bells in any of the usual places.

I know there was an air of unreality about the latter days of the Tiger era, but you'd still have expected that someone in the higher echelons of the civic body [and with a salary to match] might have raised their hand to ask a question.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby PVC King » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:08 pm

I think the debate on this had already taken place re their equally dumb proposal to float the Abbey in Georges Dock; I didn't see the point in discussing it because like so many starchitect proposals around that time it was obviously never going to happen for two reasons.

1. The heritage movement would splinter into the continuity salafia faction using the judicial review *50 route if consent were secured after six months in ABP.

2. The market had no appetite for such a product as island based offices would have not been able to produce enough retail or parking to service office and residential high rise; as big as the river is the space available would be too small once retaining walls were subtracted.

Clearly the CHDDA era was very successful but that was because they had British Land and Hardwicke underwriting it; it was also accompanied by a tax break that was location specific to Financial Services; that went sometime around 2000 and once it went financial services companies decamped to locations as remote as Wexford.

What to do next with this key development zone? For starters don't spend a fortune on an in depth inquiry; secondly build any new structure in a manner that dovetails with both Nama the principal landowner and Dublin City Council the local authority. If one lesson is to be learned from this it is that local authorities should not be competing in the same City; a coherent plan is required to get the north docklands fully developed in time for the interconnector's delivery in 2018.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby gunter » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:11 pm

PVC King wrote:I think the debate on this had already taken place re their equally dumb proposal to float the Abbey in Georges Dock; I didn't see the point in discussing it because like so many starchitect proposals around that time it was obviously never going to happen for two reasons.

1. The heritage movement would splinter into the continuity salafia faction using the judicial review *50 route if consent were secured after six months in ABP.

2. The market had no appetite for such a product as island based offices would have not been able to produce enough retail or parking to service office and residential high rise; as big as the river is the space available would be too small once retaining walls were subtracted.

Clearly the CHDDA era was very successful but that was because they had British Land and Hardwicke underwriting it; it was also accompanied by a tax break that was location specific to Financial Services; that went sometime around 2000 and once it went financial services companies decamped to locations as remote as Wexford.

What to do next with this key development zone? For starters don't spend a fortune on an in depth inquiry; secondly build any new structure in a manner that dovetails with both Nama the principal landowner and Dublin City Council the local authority. If one lesson is to be learned from this it is that local authorities should not be competing in the same City; a coherent plan is required to get the north docklands fully developed in time for the interconnector's delivery in 2018.


I don't know about the - ''never goin' to happen theory'' - there were a lot of guys in suits presenting this scheme, and none of them looked like the kind you'd associate with kite flying.

I suspect that they had it in mind to mine the campshire for a Smithfield-style two-storey underground car park, although in no way would have that made the concept less ludicrous.

To be honest with you I don't think this scheme ever entered the consciousness of the continuity-salafia movement, or any branch faction thereof [and obviously we're using 'consciousness' in it's loosest sense], but I suppose we wouldn't have really found out until long after all the decisions had been taken and work had started :rolleyes:

It's not that there wasn't much discussion of the DDDA, and that scheme in particular, here, in fact, I think there were two or three threads solely dedicated to these subjects, it's just that no one outside this little bubble seemed interested, - there were none of the usual irate letters to the editor, or ill-tempered spats on Pat Kenny, or whatever, all the usual indicators of ascending dudgeon.

I wouldn't have expected outfits like the RIAI, or the IAF, or the Planning Institute, or anyone with an interest in loads-a-work to rock the boat by fostering a discussion on the wisdom of these matters, but the apparent absence of any critique from within Dublin City Council is not as easy to forgive.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby PVC King » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:06 pm

I'm a little curious as to why you raised this issue and why you raised it on this thread.


That's all grand and all, but with the honourable exception of Cagey, Rusty Cogs and an assortment of other archiseek oddballs, why was nobody else saying this at the time?


But you then say

I wouldn't have expected outfits like the RIAI, or the IAF, or the Planning Institute, or anyone with an interest in loads-a-work to rock the boat by fostering a discussion on the wisdom of these matters, but the apparent absence of any critique from within Dublin City Council is not as easy to forgive.


What you neglect to say is that no application was ever made; hence why all the actors stayed off the stage. Big difference in cost between getting a practice to do a pitch c/w model and paying them to actually design it to the point of a full planning application. The latter would never have happened...
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby gunter » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:47 pm

PVC King wrote:I'm a little curious as to why you raised this issue and why you raised it on this thread.


No mystery PVC, I raised the issue because the I.T. article [posted above] brought it up today . . . . and used the Duke-of-Ormond factor that should have killed it stone dead three years ago.

Why this thread?

. . . I couldn't find the other thread.

PVC King wrote:What you neglect to say is that no application was ever made; hence why all the actors stayed off the stage. Big difference in cost between getting a practice to do a pitch c/w model and paying them to actually design it to the point of a full planning application. The latter would never have happened...


Maybe you're right, maybe this was never going anywhere, but it didn't feel like that at the time. At the time, nothing seemed to be capable of wounding, let alone killing, this scheme, it just seemed to gain acceptance with every new document that issued from the DDDA. I recall being at a presentation in Bolton Street where Dick Gleeson of all people included slides of the ''Liffey Island'' scheme as part of future Dublin and gave no indication of being remotely uncomfortable with it.

My point is: if this scheme was all as damaging and ludicrous as Frank McDonald today said it was [ - and it was - ], why weren't people in the wider architectural, planning and civic community saying this at the time?

One possibility is that there isn't actually a wider, architectural, planning and civic community, . . . . . or at least one that gives a toss :mad:
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby PVC King » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:03 pm

gunter wrote: No mystery PVC, I raised the issue because the I.T. article [posted above] brought it up today . . . . and used the Duke-of-Ormond factor that should have killed it stone dead three years ago.

Why this thread?

. . . I couldn't find the other thread.

Stilts





gunter wrote: Maybe you're right, maybe this was never going anywhere, but it didn't feel like that at the time. At the time, nothing seemed to be capable of wounding, let alone killing, this scheme, it just seemed to gain acceptance with every new document that issued from the DDDA. I recall being at a presentation in Bolton Street where Dick Gleeson of all people included slides of the ''Liffey Island'' scheme as part of future Dublin and gave no indication of being remotely uncomfortable with it.

My point is: if this scheme was all as damaging and ludicrous as Frank McDonald today said it was [ - and it was - ], why weren't people in the wider architectural, planning and civic community saying this at the time?

One possibility is that there isn't actually a wider, architectural, planning and civic community, . . . . . or at least one that gives a toss :mad:


You can just write that phase off in terms of looking for logic; there were so many proposals coming through at that stage that all anyone in heritage could do was fire fight; money was being thrown around by government like it was going out of fashion so if you wanted your pet project to be funded then don't criticise other people's; the concept of scarce resources was reserved only for outcasts!!!.

The real unwitting hero was of course the Fabulous Fab who managed to collapse the real estate bubble or possibly his masters at Paulson. There is a lot I will miss about tiger Ireland but looking at proposals to destroy the river that defines the city is certainly not one of them.

Its very easy to focus on the negative but as the country is clearly now starting to look towards the future after a horrific spell. The real question is how does the City replace or shackle the DDDA to ensure that it becomes much more like the CHDDA vs the plaything of a number of non-exec directors who went so far beyond their remit that it became damaging. The development of the docklands as an exemplar of sustainable high desity higher quality commercial and residential space is more important than it ever was in light of the impending arrival of interconnector in a short period of time.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby missarchi » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:09 am

gunter wrote:One possibility is that there isn't actually a wider, architectural, planning and civic community, . . . . . or at least one that gives a toss :mad:


time will tell...
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby kefu » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:07 pm

I think there was a general acceptance that the DDDA could do whatever they wanted and that very little could be done about it.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby gunter » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:52 am

Did I hear right that the Dublin Port Company's proposal to in-fill themselves a new chunk of real estate was turned down by Bord Pleanala . . . . on the grounds that the present mud flats at the relevant location are a protected bird habitat?

If this is true, the saddest part of this whole sordid mess is that 'urban planning' doesn't seemed to have entered into the discussion at all. The Port Company's case was based solely on economic grounds [probably entirely bogus] and the motley crew of objectors, as well as denouncing the flawed economic arguments, hung their case largely on the environment trump card provided by our little mud-lark friends.

The implications of this judgement [if it's been reported correctly on the radio] is that the current haphazard boundary between the city and the bay, which happens to occur where the last round of in-filling stopped, will become ever more set in stone [or in this case, mud].

Our 18th century forefathers, who delivered the North and South Walls, the Custom House and the entire area were the Docklands now sit, must be looking down on us with a mixture of bewilderment and pity.

While I like a nice bird as much as the next man, is it not the case that birds are the most mobile species on the planet? and is it not the case that there are perfectly comparable acres of mud to be had at Baldoyle and Malahide, no more than a couple of minutes flight time to these lads?

Did anyone even stop to consider that maybe these poor little blighters may not particularly like living in the mud in the first place, maybe they'd actually prefer to live in trees like normal birds, but maybe that wouldn't suit the ornithological poverty industry with their notions of caste and their Lidl binoculars, maybe they wouldn't want these little lads to better themselves and climb out of the primordial ooze, at least not when they can be pressed into service so effectively to defeat evil planning applications.

Ok, I need to read up a bit about birds, but either way the conclusions I'd draw from this whole extend-Dublin-Port saga are:

Nobody has a vision of what the relationship between the city and the bay should be. . . . and nobody's in charge.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby hutton » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:16 pm

gunter wrote:My point is: if this scheme was all as damaging and ludicrous as Frank McDonald today said it was [ - and it was - ], why weren't people in the wider architectural, planning and civic community saying this at the time?


Interesting discussion. Did Frank McDonald articulate such criticism at the time?
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby alonso » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:42 pm

Gunter, while I would recommend reading up on Birds if you wish to be fully informed, the real kicker for our city forefathers is that much of the habitats in Dublin Bay were in fact created indirectly by man and not nature. The building of the port and the port walls created a lot of this "nature" itself. Similarly if one wished to add to the rail infrastructure along by Booterstown "nature" would prevent it - this "nature" of course was created by the rail infrastructure.

Your last line sums up a major issue for the City of Dublin. We seem to treasure the Bay so much that we don't want any additional people living or working anywhere near it!!!

The Habitats Directive is quite clear and unambiguous on this issue but the merits of this approach are somewhat questionable in certain locations.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby lostexpectation » Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:07 pm

who designated the bay an spa it wasn't the objectors
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby gunter » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:57 am

lostexpectation wrote:who designated the bay an spa it wasn't the objectors


dunno, someone with a very narrow focus I imagine.

There were two articles on the DDDA/Liam Carroll cozy-up in the Business This Week section of the Irish Times on Friday, and both attempted to shed light on the infamous 'secret deal' and the motivation behind it, but neither article made the connection with the ''Liffey Island'' wheeze which is surely central to this whole thing.

The former DDDA guy keeps trying to explain this story as a deal he did with Carroll to deliver a slice of public amenity space. This is the same public amenity space - the strip with the odd, canal-like, water feature in it - that we became aquainted with on these boards some time ago [and struggled to find any merit in].

''It was a genuine attempt by the executive [of the DDDA] to ensure that land earmarked for community parks [by the DDDA] would be handed over by developers . . .'' Paul Maloney, former chief executive of the DDDA, is reported as saying

But that proposed new linear strip with the 'canal' [the community park?] was always just the sop that they were intending to claim justified usurping the North Wall campshire and the adjacent area of riverbed for commercial development despite it's clear and obvious amenity value, 'open space' zoning, and intrinsic value as a piece of Dublin quayside.

I don't know what other people think, but, if I was Liam Carroll and I was developing a new corporate office block on an absolutely prime, high profile, quay-frontage site, the only way I'd even contemplate letting the quayside in front of me become hijacked for a rival commercial development, in contravention of the existing zoning objective, is if I had a helluva secret deal in the bag.

I'm not a cut-throat property developer, but if I was, I doubt I'd be satisfied with just a vague indication that some time in the future the DDDA might see their way to granting planning permission for a few more storeys on top of my - no longer river-front - office block :rolleyes:
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby CraigFay » Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:41 pm

The new wheel on it's way up beside the point. judging by the height, I can't imagine there'll be great views... at all :(

Image
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby lostexpectation » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:21 pm

gunter wrote:While I like a nice bird as much as the next man, is it not the case that birds are the most mobile species on the planet? and is it not the case that there are perfectly comparable acres of mud to be had at Baldoyle and Malahide, no more than a couple of minutes flight time to these lads?


what is this nonsense surely there were always mud flats of some sort on the liffey estuary
and what ever you wanted to build in future mud flats would would remain you can't direct birds

btw whats the deal with the delay with the sewage plant for the conference centre
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby btdolan » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:07 am

The Wheel is taking shape now, they're still waiting to put on the pods or whatever for people to get into but all the spokes are on now.

More pics here.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:25 pm

Doesn't look very high does it?
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby darkman » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:26 pm

I don't get it - I really don't. No one will see anything from there! - It hardly rises above the O2. Of course tourists ignorantly may pay to use it - they are going to be dissapointed and feel ripped off IMO.


Id say you would need about a 120m or 140m wheel at least down there to get any sort of proper views.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby Andrew Duffy » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:00 pm

It looks small, but you will have a good view from the top. Anything above about eight floors in the docklands and you can see the whole city, so long as a direction isn't blocked by the building you're in. Of course, the higher you are the more you can pick out from the jumble of rooftops.
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Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Postby mud hut! » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:35 pm

Nine euro to go up in the thing and half the time your looking into a wall of a building!
Ripoff price,i guess the Tiger isn't dead down at the Point.

It's also way to small like everything else down there.
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