PROPERTY DEVELOPER Harry Crosbie has been ordered to cease coastal protection works being carried out near his holiday home in Co Wexford because he does not have planning permission.
An enforcement notice issued yesterday by Wexford County Council ordered Mr Crosbie to cease all unauthorised coastal defence works within two days.
The council said the works do not have the necessary planning permission and that the site is located within a Special Area of Conservation, meaning any developments would also require an environmental impact assessment and approval from the Department of the Environment.
The enforcement notice also stipulated that all unauthorised defence measures in place must be removed within two weeks.
The site will be inspected in two weeks and if the enforcement notice has not been complied with during the timeframe, the council would be entitled to instigate legal proceedings.
Some 40 per cent of the Co Wexford coastline is under threat from erosion and the coastline in the surrounding area has been eroded inwards by some 100m in the last 30 years.
Mr Crosbie, a successful entrepreneur, has a large property portfolio in the docklands area of Dublin.
Last year he sought planning permission to install coastal erosion control measures surrounding a site at Kilpatrick, some 10km north of Courtown, on the Wexford-Wicklow border. His application was refused by the council in March.
Despite this, work involving a crane and other vehicles started in the vicinity of Mr Crosbie's house last Monday, and following a number of complaints from locals, who were concerned the works would involve the destruction of a habitat for sandmartins, the council sent an engineer to evaluate the situation on Tuesday.
Eamonn Hore, director of planning with the council, confirmed the works had ceased following the issue of the enforcement notice.
He said the location of Mr Crosbie's house was not as vulnerable to erosion as many of the houses along the same stretch of coast and that the installation of protection measures could have had knock-on effects for neighbouring houses.
"We don't want to stop anybody from protecting their home but Mr Crosbie must carry out the required environmental assessment to show the work will not damage the Special Area of Conservation or cause further problems along the coast," he said.
Mr Hore added that a detailed assessment of erosion in the area is being conducted by Wexford County Council and that the results will be made available upon its completion.
The Irish Times