An excellent harbour has now been built as Phaze 1. Phaze 2, the Medical Centre, public square, 11 apartments and 5 free clubhouses for the sailors, rowers, anglers, divers and Sea Scouts should take a year and then the hoardings can come down. Funding is required, however the Medical Centre is let to secure tenants, so this should be forthcoming provided there are no planning permission doubts. An ex Councillor Fiachra Etchingham (Labour Party) has appealed to Bord Pleanala (BP) to get them to rule that they should decide this. The Council is entitled to make minor amendments whereas larger changes must go to BP.
The problem if it goes to BP is that this is a very slow process and will delay the project by 3 to 18 months. At a time of National uncertainty we do not want any delay in the hoardings coming down. This is why I would like to see his appeal withdrawn.
Originally BP granted permission for the project, following a 2 year process, and deleted 34 apartments, in front of the fish and chip restaurant, primarily because they were in the way of the view and to a lesser extent because of traffic issues. In 2009 the Council asked BP if converting a block of apartments to a Medical centre and putting 34 houses on the old town dump would have to be decided by them. BP reviewed these changes and on 22nd April 2010 decided that they should review those changes in detail, stating:
‘the magnitude of the impact …(of traffic generation)…would not be great’
‘it is not considered that the proposed development would be likely to have significant effects on the environment, with the exception of that portion of it to be sited on the old landfill site’
In order not to delay the project while taking the above BP concern into account, the plan was modified so that the 34 houses were placed behind the old landfill, so nothing was placed on the old landfill, and this and the Medical Centre were passed by the Council. The Appeal to BP by the individual casts a small amount of uncertainty over the planning permission for the Medical Centre and houses which in this climate makes funding more difficult.