Surfers put pier plans in doubt

SURFERS have thrown into doubt Clare County Council’s plans for a €6 million pier at Doolin for summer 2012.

West Coast Surf Club have asked An Bord Pleanála if the council is required to provide an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

In March, councillors unanimously gave the go-ahead to the plan.

At that meeting, council official Tom Tiernan said work would start within four to six months, with the majority of the works likely to take place in 2012.

In recent days, the council advertised for companies to tender for the work, which is expected to enhance Doolin’s status as the nearest gateway to the Aran Islands.

However, the board has indicated a September 16 deadline to decide on the EIS referral. If it decides the council’s application requires an EIS, the local authority is back at square one in the planning process.

Mr Tiernan said yesterday the move to refer the case to An Bord Pleanála “may result in a delay but it is unclear at this stage what the extent of delay could be”.

He stated that the “council carried out a screening process, as is required by law and that process determined that the development would not have a significant impact on the environment”.

The council, meanwhile, is also waiting for a decision from the Department of the Environment in relation to an application for a foreshore licence in relation to the development.

Yesterday, Senator Martin Conway said: “The €6m is ring-fenced for the project but there is no certainty that it will be there indefinitely.”


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