PLANS TO designate a peninsula in west Cork as a "special scenic landscape" could result in homebuyers avoiding the area because of problems with planning permission, a local chamber of commerce head has warned.
Chief executive of Beara Chamber of Commerce Michael O'Sullivan said the designation would make it difficult for local people to obtain planning permission, leading to depopulation in the peninsula.
"Our main concern is that the whole of the Beara Peninsula is being made a special scenic landscape. There hasn't been any consultation on this. If this goes ahead it will make it impossible for people to get planning permission."
Mr O'Sullivan said the proposals would also affect farmers because they would be unable to get planning permission for wind farms and sheds. Mr O'Sullivan was one of six members of the chamber and West Cork Irish Farmers' Association who travelled yesterday to County Hall in Cork to hand in a submission objecting to the local county council's proposals to adopt guidelines on housing in scenic areas.
Earlier this month about 75 people attended a meeting in Castletownbere organised to raise awareness of the proposals. Further meetings are planned next month.
Supporters of Cork County Council's proposed measures claim scenic coastal areas have to be protected.
The proposals reportedly allow anybody with a commitment to permanent residency to have the restrictions lifted.
The proposals are on display at council offices in Cork and on the council website www.corkcoco.ie