A CONTROVERSIAL multi-million-euro marina planned for a west Cork village has received the thumbs down from An Bord Pleanála.
The board’s decision to refuse planning for the marina in its entirety – a decision supporters of the marina yesterday described as “madness” – is expected to appear on its website next week.
The decision was made on the grounds that the marina would be “out of scale” and “intrusive” to the amenities of the village, particularly in relation to Courtmacsherry’s location in a designated scenic landscape and within a Special Area of Conservation, according to a letter issued by the board
The appeals board also said that the project would “seriously injure the visual amenities of the village”. “The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”
Mark Gannon, a member of the eight-person group of developers behind the proposal, said they were deeply disappointed by the decision.
He said the group complied “about 95%” with An Bord Pleanála’s request for a scaling-down of the development. But he felt its request to have the berth size of the project reduced from 190 to about 100 was not feasible.
“We scaled back the planned land-based facilities and the amount of dredging and infill that would be required.
“We felt that the 190- berth marina was essential to make the project economically viable.
“This is madness. In the current economic climate this marina is needed more than ever.
“What is the future for Courtmacsherry now? It’s a designated tourist spot and if we cannot develop our harbour how are we to sustain our economic future and create employment?”
He said if the project had gone ahead, it would now cost significantly less than the €8 million initially quoted.
Brian O’Brien, a Dublin-based architect whose family have a house in Courtmacsherry, is a spokesman for those who opposed the project.
He said: “We feel this is the best decision for the village and it brings to a close something that should never have started and which we feel was handled quite badly by the people who wanted it.”
He said the lobby group Courtmac Concern was “never against a marina that was suitably located, designed and sized, but this marina was not and we felt it was inappropriate for the village”.
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