Friday 15 August 2008

€4 million hotel plan opposed

PLANS BY Clare hurling star and Waterford senior manager Davy Fitzgerald to build a €4 million boutique hotel near Shannon airport are facing opposition.

Last month the double All-Ireland winning goalkeeper applied to demolish the Bellsfort Inn pub and function room and replace it with a two-storey, 23-bed hotel with a bar and function room.

The proposed development is on a country road linking Newmarket-on-Fergus and Shannon airport. It is three miles from the airport, which was used by over 3.6 million people last year.

In an objection to Clare County Council, Séamus and Anne Ryan, Fairfield, Lemanaghmore, Newmarket, say "nothing in the development proposal indicates that it makes any contribution to the local area, or presents a demonstrable need for this type of development in the area. The Shannon area is currently well served with food and accommodation facilities."

The Ryans say the overdevelopment of the site would give rise to "serious detrimental impact to the amenity of the property, generate traffic hazards and give rise to serious negative impact on the environment".

They argue the provision of a second storey would not simply result in a building higher than adjacent properties but would result in a dominant, top-heavy structure, "which is incongruous with the surrounding area . . . and will be highly visible in the area".

A stated objective of the Clare County Development Plan is to ensure the existing character of an area is respected and that new development does not harm the amenity of adjoining properties and the surrounding area.

A decision is due on the application next month.

The Irish Times

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