THE MIDWEST economy suffered a setback yesterday with An Bord Pleanála rejecting a planned €100 million redevelopment of the Tinerana estate on the shores of Lough Derg.
The plan by Tinerana Ltd to transform the estate into a tourism resort was to generate 400 jobs through the construction and operation phase of the integrated tourism development.
The Limerick-based company purchased the estate on 270 acres of land on the shores of Lough Derg from former Killaloe doctor Paschal Carmody and his wife, Dr Frieda Keane Carmody in a multi-million euro deal in 2006.
In the plan, the company sought planning permission for the refurbishment of Tinerana House; an 18-hole championship golf course, a 32-bed apart-hotel, 155 two-bed holiday homes and an equestrian centre.
The developers claim that the development would have generated €30 million per annum for the regional economy and €8-€10 million per annum for the local economy.
There were no local objections to the plan and it was granted planning permission by Clare County Council last October. However, An Taisce appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanála with its heritage officer Ian Lumley describing the proposal as an “outmoded, exploitative, construction-based, car-based development”.
In a rebuttal, the developers accused An Taisce of “scaremongering” in opposing the development. However, An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission for the proposal after its inspector stated that “the net economic benefit to the county of a grant of permission for such uses on an inappropriate site is negligible”.
The inspector stated that the proposal “would be a large commercial scheme which would provide employment and facilities for tourists.
“However, there is only a finite market for the visitor accommodation and other hotel uses which make up the bulk of the proposal.
“Authorising such uses on one site would render it less commercially attractive to develop them somewhere else.”
The board formally refused permission on two grounds: that the proposal would involve an unacceptably large amount of built development distributed through the landscape, whose scale and character would not be in keeping with the rural location of the site and that the proposal would pose an unacceptable risk of environmental pollution, be prejudicial to public health and to the natural heritage of the area.