Wednesday 22 November 2006

Controversial scheme gets planning approval

IT is expected that a decision by Sligo County Council to grant planning permission for a controversial development in Enniscrone will be appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

The County Council last week granted approval for a scheme of 207 houses and apartments, three retail units and a creche in the resort, despite a large number of objections to the plan.

The planning application by the Hannon family, Scuramore, for the major development at Carrowhubbock South, drew a lot of opposition, with over 30 submissions to the Council objecting to and expressing concern about the development.

These included one on behalf of 213 residents and householders of Enniscrone, as well as a large number of individual objections.

And in an unusual move, the country's tourism authority, Failte Ireland, submitted a report, which it commissioned from leading consulting firm Brady Shipman Martin, on the development situation in the resort.

The report set out that it is an assessment of the potential tourism and environmental implications of the proposed development and "offers guidance so as to ensure Enniscrone developes sustainably and that new residential development does not negatively impact on the town’s future tourism potential and character".

The report prepared for the tourism body expressed concern that over-development posed a threat to Enniscrone as a tourist resort.

It stated: "Enniscrone is already under scrutiny in relation to over-development. Further unnecessary development may further damage the town’s reputation as a holiday resort."

There were also submissions from An Taisce and the North West Regional Fisheries Board.

The proposed development is on a 23.5 acres site to the north of the Main Street, which will be accessed from a new road through Castle Fields from the R297 adjacent to the fire station.

The original plan for 211 houses was reduced to 207. it includes 74 three-bed semi-detached houses, five four-bed detached houses, 66 three-bed terrace units, 64 two-bed apartments and two one-bed apartments.

It incorporates car-parking for a total of 424 cars.

The planning permission has been granted subject to 23 conditions, which include the payment of E1,074,452 in development charges to the Council.

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