Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Harlequin shelves €100m Brittas Bay luxury hotel plan

Harlequin Holdings, owned by property developer Jerry Conlon who has been linked with Anglo Irish Bank, has abandoned plans for a €100m luxury golf and hotel development at Wicklow's Brittas Bay after council planners recommended their proposals be refused.

A planning application for the development, which Harlequin was developing in partnership with the Brennan Hotel Group, was withdrawn just one day before Wicklow County Council was due to make its decision.

The massive development would have included a 142-suite hotel; an 18-hole golf course; 12 two-storey holiday cottages; a three-storey sports academy; a bowling green and pavilion; four all-weather pitches and 356 parking spaces.

The application had been with the council since August 2008. However, failure to win support from planners dealt the development a huge blow. In her report, planner Elizabeth Bolger said the proposed development was in an area of outstanding natural beauty which could be eroded should it go ahead. With many of the hotel suites having their own external entrances, she suggested many could be used for long term occupation, contravening the council's settlement strategy. In addition, local road and water infrastructure was insufficient for such a large development and the environmental impact statement was inadequate, Bolger added.

A spokesman for the Harlequin Holdings was unavailable to comment last week.

Sunday Tribune

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