CLARE COUNTY Council yesterday granted planning permission to Doonbeg golf club for a €2 million coastal protection plan to prevent erosion of dues at the Greg Norman-designed links course.
The club has warned that if nothing is done to prevent the erosion on the Atlantic coast course, it would be detrimental to the viability of the golf club.
The west Clare-based club warned that a severe one-in-50- year storm may lead to a retreat in the dune line of over 10m (30ft) and that if the present rate of erosion continues to 2050, between 18m (60ft) and 27.5m (90ft) of retreat would be experienced.
The US owners of the course have already invested €69 million in the resort.
The plan, aimed at safeguarding the investment, will provide for the relocation of the 14th green, an 18th tee box, a sixth tee box, two 15th tee boxes and works in front of the fifth, 13th and 14th greens.
A previous 2003 proposal was turned down by An Bord Pleanála due to the scale of the proposal.
In its ruling on the revised proposal, the council granted planning permission for the works, stating the plan would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity.
A club spokesman said yesterday that the club was very pleased with the decision.
He said: “The works are of paramount importance. One has only to look at last week’s weather to see why the works are important.”
He said the club has made no decision on a start date for the construction works. The golf club told the council that “essential parts of Doonbeg golf course remain at high risk from severe coastal erosion during extreme storm events with combined high waves and storm surge”.
The club warned: “During such events, the dune face may retreat by up to 8m [26ft], causing a very significant loss of dune in a single storm and, consequently, severe damage to the golf course.”
The club ruled out relocating coastal golf holes at the course as it would affect numbers of protected snail Vertigo angustior at the course, which has been a major concern at the venue.
The environmental impact statement states the dunes have retreated by between 35m (115ft) and 47m (154ft) between 1890 and 2008 at the fifth, 13th and 14th greens, and the sixth tee.