Sunday 7 December 2008

Marina development for heritage town on Shannon sparks controversy

CONTROVERSIAL plans for a €60m marina development overlooking the River Shannon in the heritage town of Ballina are expected to attract significant opposition.

An application for the development at the Derg marina in Ballina, Co Tipperary was filed earlier this month and a decision is expected from Tipperary North County Council early in the new year.

There has been opposition to the plans over concerns the design is inappropriate to the scenic surroundings and the developers have exercised a "dismissive attitude" towards objectors. Those objecting to the proposals had until close of business last Friday to lodge their views with the planning authority.

The 85-apartment project consists of four storeys with a viewing level on top, car-parking facilities, a restaurant and bar, and marina facilities.

Objectors insist they are not opposed to development at the marina but say the plans submitted are not in keeping with the scenic surrounds.

Addressing a meeting last Thursday night, Ballina Marina Action Group spokesman Joe Cahalane said the "scale and density, the impact on the sensitive lakeside environment and the pressure on local infrastructure were the main reasons for opposing the developer's proposals".

In response to the claims, Eclipse Developments say the plans have been a work in progress for almost three years and they have successfully managed to alleviate wider concerns.

"The marina site is zoned for integrated tourism development and our aim is to deliver a world-class marina and public amenity that is both sustainable and sensitively designed," they said.

Sunday Tribune

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