Blarney Castle owner claims proposed housing estate would be a 'huge blemish'

Blarney Castle owner claims proposed housing estate would be a 'huge blemish'

Artist impressions of the proposed development of 150 new residential units in Monacnapa, Blarney.

The owner of Blarney Castle has expressed concern that a proposed new housing development would diminish the touristic value of the area.

Charles Colthurst, who owns the popular tourist attraction, says the proposed development would detract, visually, from the area.

The proposed development in Blarney, by developer Eoin Sheehan, would be located in the Monacnapa area, next to Sunberry Drive and just off the Blarney relief road. The project would be a mixture of 150 units built with a mix of houses and apartments.

“I would have a view, and I think the village would have a view, that we are a tourist village. We are about tourism, heritage, landscape, and environment,” Mr Colthurst said. 

The estate owner stressed the importance of building the “right things in the right areas.” 

“If you do a visual from the top of the castle north, south, east, west, certainly to the north, visually that housing estate would be the huge visual blemish.

“The city council need to decide whether they want a suburb or do they want tourism. 

They do respect the fact that Blarney is one of the most unique villages left in the country. In the village there is a beautiful square, there's not many left. 

"I think they do respect that.” 

Mr Colthurst also points out that that is important to 'respect the infrastructure' of the village.

“The traffic, even now, is chaos. They don’t have the roads to manage all of these cars. We bring in around 6000 coaches full of tourists a year.” 

The proposed project would offer a variety of units, from one bedroom to four bedrooms, which the developers claim will cater to a variety of future residents, ranging from those looking to get started with their first home to those with larger families.

The developers say the plans would provide improved local road infrastructure, including for pedestrians and cyclists.  

"Detailed proposals for the upgrading of the access to cater for additional traffic and pedestrian volumes, including upgrading of the junction onto the R617," they say. 

They also address the impact of the view from the castle and say that tree cover and "dark-coloured slate materials" would minimalise the visual impact. 

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