Donald Trump's Doonbeg golf course ‘eyesore’ cleared

The Trump family have secured their first planning victory for their luxury golf links resort at Doonbeg.

It follows An Bord Pleanála giving the Trump-owned TIGL Ireland Enterprises Ltd the planning all clear for a driving range extension, which a local has described as “a complete eyesore”.

The board has ruled that a 13ft-high embankment at the driving range does not require planning permission in spite of its own inspector stating that it does.

Yesterday, the general manager of Trump Doonbeg, Joe Russell said: “We are pleased with the decision.”

US President Donald Trump bought the resort in February 2014. However, this year, he resigned from Trump Doonbeg companies with Eric and Donald Jr remaining as directors.

Last year, the resort doubled the height of an embankment at its driving range from 6.5ft to 13ft without seeking planning. The change resulted in one person writing to the council last March to say: “They have built a massive sand dune, extremely long and high — a complete eyesore.”

The complainant said the embankment is “turfed into the side of the golf club, but on the side that the public can see. It is all sand and stones with a few scabby mismatched trees and bushes perched on top.”

Clare County Council told TIGL planning would be required and TIGL referred the case to An Bord Pleanála last May.

The board’s inspector, Karla McBride, stated that the proposed raising of the height of an existing driving range berm constitutes development and requires planning.

Ms McBride said the embankment is not exempt as it cannot be ruled out that there is a possibility of the proposed works having an adverse impact on the visual amenities of this landscape.

However, in its order, the appeals board concluded the works are required to mitigate against golf balls overshooting the bottom of the range and travelling on to adjacent roads and spaces.

The board states that due to the embankment’s scale and setting it would not interfere with the character of the heritage landscape as designated in the Clare County Development Plan 2017-2023.

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