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March 3, 2010

Hotelier’s site permission rejected a third time

An Bord Pleanála has unanimously overruled the local authority and refused permission for an “integrated tourism and leisure development” including golfing facilities at Palmerstown Demesne in Co Kildare.

It is the third time in less than 10 years that the planning board has turned down hotelier Jim Mansfield for such a development at this location. In a decision described by An Taisce as “very significant and comprehensive”, the board overruled Kildare County Council’s approval of the scheme on a number of grounds, including that sewage issues “would be prejudicial to public health”.

The proposed development, with a gross floor area of 67,358.5sq metres (725,047sq ft), was to have included a hotel with 170 bedrooms and 26 suites, 46 “golf lodges”, 105 town houses, eight retail units and parking for 615 cars.

An Bord Pleanála noted the scheme would ultimately be connected to the Osberstown sewage treatment plant, which discharges into the river Liffey upstream of a major source of drinking water for the greater Dublin area. Given the plant was already operating beyond its design capacity, it said the proposed development would be premature pending an expansion of this plant’s capacity and would, therefore, be “prejudicial to public health”.

A proposed temporary onsite effluent treatment and disposal system “would represent a disorderly approach to development and would pose an unacceptable risk of pollution of groundwater and indirectly of nearby sensitive surface waters”. The board considered that the proposed hotel, located adjacent to an existing golf clubhouse and within view of Palmerstown House, “would, by reason of its design, scale and excessive bulk . . . seriously injure the visual amenities of the area”.

The Irish Times

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