US President-elect Donald Trump’s controversial €10m rock barrier plan for his Doonbeg golf links resort has been abandoned.
The Trump Doonbeg Golf Resort has confirmed the application has been withdrawn at Clare County Council.
In its place, the resort yesterday unveiled plans for a scaled-down proposal that will protect exposed areas adjacent to holes at 1, 9 and 18.
The original proposal extended for 2.8km along the beach and involved the placing of a 200,000-tonne rock barrier.
However, the new plan will protect around one third of that — 900m — 650m at the south and 250m at the north of the beach.
The new proposal would also involve only 20% of the volume of the original proposal.
The latest plan will involve the resort seeking permission from the council to place sheet pile and rock armour at a number of locations on the seaward edge of the golf course.
According to a public exhibition on the proposal at the resort “this reduced scheme is considered necessary as coastal erosion continues unabated and immediate action is required in exposed areas adjacent to holes 1, 9, and 18”.
The construction period for the original proposal was eight months while the new plan will take around 12 weeks to put in place. An environmental impact statement (EIS) will be lodged with the new plan.
The old plan was to be 20m wide and 4m high whereas the new plan “would not be visible to view”.
The withdrawal of the current planning application and the imminent submission of the new one before Christmas follows Clare County Council voicing concerns over the larger proposal in June.
Yesterday, Joe Russell, general manager of the Trump resort, said the larger plan has been withdrawn over the resort’s concerns that the process “would take three to four years” to secure permission.
He said: “Was that acceptable given the threat of the ocean? It wasn’t and what we needed to do was to protect the vital areas of the golf course where we feel any more erosion would cause huge disruption to our business.”
He said the reason for the withdrawal was time. “We need to get something done quickly. I don’t have the time and the ocean keeps coming at me.”
Mr Russell said that during the storms of 2014, five holes were hit hard. “We got back three and put in two temporary holes. I can’t afford for that to happen again.”
On the new plan, Mr Russell said: “We need to get a far quicker solution that would protect the golf holes under threat.”
An Taisce, Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE), the Save Doughmore Beach Protection Group, surfer groups, and over 30 individuals have objected to the plan.
Tony Lowes of FIE said: “While the sense of relief today is enormous, as is our gratitude to the international community, the current proposal will require detailed analysis in terms of the conservation objectives and the impact on the protected snail before we can comment on it.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved