Wednesday 13 April 2011

Further assessment needed if plans for Greystones harbour changed

MOVES BY Wicklow County Council to amend its planning permission for the €300 million Greystones Harbour redevelopment will require a new environmental impact statement, An Bord Pleanála has ruled.

This is the second time An Bord Pleanála has told the council and its private sector partner, the Sispar consortium, that an environmental impact statement (EIS) is necessary to assess proposed changes.

Work on the marine elements of the harbour are substantially finished, but provision of five club houses for harbour users, a marina, a new town square, a public park and housing are now dependent on Nama which has taken over responsibility for loans associated with the project. The changes proposed by the council and Sispar would see the number of new homes in the scheme increase by 34, to 375, while the commercial space in the development would rise to 6,245sq m.

The council and Sispar have said the additional apartments and commercial space are necessary given changed market conditions since the scheme began in 2007.

It had been hoped that hoardings which have been in place for almost three years could start to come down late next year.

More than €80 million has been invested in the project, principally in a new harbour, which includes space for a 230-berth marina.

The changes the council was seeking were made under part eight of the Planning and Development Act which provides for public consultation but does not provide for an appeal.

However, the effect of An Bord Pleanála’s direction that an EIS is necessary now looks set to delay the project further. A spokesman for the consortium said the decision was being studied. He added the consortium remained committed to the project.

Irish Times

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