UPWARDS OF 400 people are expected to attend a protest outside Cork’s County Hall this morning amid claims that the proposed designation of coastal areas around west Cork as scenic landscape areas could force families to leave the community.
Chairman of Beara Chamber of Commerce Michael O’Sullivan, who is running as an independent local election candidate on the issue, said the designation would leave young people in Beara, Mizen Head and Sheep’s Head with little choice but to leave their rural communities and move in to towns and villages.
“The whole planning situation is a mess. Planning should be straightforward and not something that can be dictated by councillors. We will be demonstrating on the special scenic landscape issue. We think they will be a massive crowd as people are very upset about it all.” He said the proposed designation of coastal areas around Castletownbere, Bantry and Schull as scenic landscape areas could mean children of families around the Beara, Mizen Head and Sheep’s Head communities being unable to get permission for houses in the future.
The proposals in relation to scenic landscape areas were first put forward in August and are among a number of amendments to the Cork County Development Plan. Supporters of the 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. It is understood that future developments would be assessed on the impact it might have on the landscape’s character.