The Minister for the Environment could be set to sign the planning scheme for the development of Dublin's Spencer Dock very shortly.

The Chief Executive of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority contended the debate over the site was now over and that development was ready to commence almost immediately once approval had been secured.

Speaking at the launch of the DDDA's annual report for 2001, Peter Coyne said the North Lotts area, which extends down to the Point Depot, was already at an advanced developmental stage.

The Docklands Authority achieved a sales turnover of more than €12m and generated a surplus for the year of more than €3.75m.

Mr Coyne said that social and affordable housing has moved from being an ambitious aspiration to a certain reality. He said that Docklands will see more changes over the next year, and a further number of key projects should be well underway this time next year.