Monday, 26 February 2007

No lift-off for Bill Cullen's helipad plan

BESTSELLING author and businessman Bill Cullen (above) has been refused planning permission to keep a landing pad for a helicopter at his property in the heart of Killarney National Park.
However, he has been granted permission for other structures there, including a large house.
An Taisce had said permission for a helipad should not be granted and planners at Kerry County Council said a helipad would adversely affect the natural environment and interfere with the character of the area.
Glencullen Properties Ltd, owned by Mr Cullen, had sought retention permission for the helipad, along with tennis court and landscaping at Killegy Upper, a prime special amenity area between Mangerton and Torc Mountains.
The application was also for retention of a large house and cottage with a total floor area of 691 square metres.
A separate application is seeking retention for works to apartments at the nearby Muckross Park Hotel which is also owned by Mr Cullen and his partner Jackie Lavin.
An Taisce , the national trust for Ireland, had submitted the location in the 12.6 hectare property was not a suitable location for a helicopter landing pad, because of its location .
"The main function of a national park is the conservation of nature and noise disturbance landing and taking off would cause disturbance to the wildlife," Dr Catherine McMullin, honorary planning officer said.
An Taisce also said any unauthorised large scale works "may need to be removed".
"The existing main house and associated guesthouse make up a very large structure which is visible from a public walkway through the nearby woodland which is part of the Killarney National Park. Any unauthorised building may need to be removed and the existing landscape and planting must be supplemented," Dr McMullin said.
The council has granted permission for the houses, subject to conditions.
The National Parks and Wildlife Office which governs the Killarney National Park were notified by the county council and asked for their comments, but did not make any submission.
There is still time to appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanala.
© Irish Independent

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