An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission to Trump Doonbeg’s contentious plans for coastal protection plans at the west Clare course.
The ruling by An Bord Pleanála overturns a decision made by Clare County Council in December 2017 to give the Trump firm the go-ahead for 38,000 tonnes of rock to be placed in front of the course at Doughmore beach.
Plans for first lodged in December 2016 and the Trump company, TIGL Ireland Enterprises Limited had warned that a ‘do nothing’ scenario “will bring the viability of the entire resort and its potential closure into question”.
Now, in its ruling, the appeals board has stated that it is not satisfied that the proposed development would not result in adverse effects on the physical structure, functionality and sediment supply of dune habitat within the Carrowmore Dunes Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
The appeals board further stated that it is precluded from granting planning permission as it was not satisfied beyond reasonable scientific doubt that the proposed development would not adversely affect the integrity of the Carrowmore Dunes SAC in view of the site’s conservation objectives.
The proposal enjoyed local support in Doonbeg but the case came before the board after a number of parties appealed and they include well known environmental, Peter Sweetman, Friends of the Irish Environment, An Taisce, the Save Doughmore-Doonbeg Beach Community Group and the Save the Waves Coalition.
The Doonbeg company told the appeals board if the natural erosion process is allowed to continue on the SAC at the site it would result in a loss of 36% of the dune habitat over a 50 year period.
General Manager with Trump Doonbeg, Joe Russell said today: "We are very disappointed and are considering our options."
Today, Ian Lumley of An Taisce welcomed the decision.
He stated: “This is an important vindication of the need to have an independent national planning appeals body making decisions on a scientific and ecological basis.
"The golf resort at Doonbeg now needs to work with nature in the future in maintaining the structure and ecological integrity of the dune system.”
However, Independent Clare TD, Michael McNamara stated that he was “very concerned” over the board’s decision.
He stated: "We need to look very carefully at this decision to see how the dunes and the golf course, as well as farms and homes behind these dunes can be protected in a manner compatible with the environment."
He added: "There simply has to be a way to do so, particularly as much stone, which formed a natural barrier, was removed for roadworks in previous decades.”