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Schull Harbour Regeneration Plan Directors Mull Over ’Next Actions’ After Expiry of Planning Permission

8th January 2023
The pier at Schull Harbour in West Cork
The pier at Schull Harbour in West Cork. Hopes for redevelopment of the harbour were dashed before planning permission expired in October 2022 Credit: Robert Bateman

Directors of the Schull Community Harbour Development Company Limited (SCHDC) say they have met to discuss “next actions” and “continue to consider all options available” following the expiry of planning permission for redevelopment of the West Cork harbour.

In a letter to its supporters, the SCHDC provided a timeline of its efforts over the last 20 years to get the project over the line.

Planning permission was initially granted in 2007, and further extended in 2017, for works that were to include various pier improvements such as an extension and floating pontoon, as well as a 225-berth marina.

However, two separate applications for funding under the Rural Regeneration Fund were unsuccessful, despite what the SCHDC claims was a “commitment that funding would be approved”.

Cork County Council subsequently refused to submit the project for the third tranche of funding, as previously reported on, instead backing the Dursey Island cable car which itself was unsuccessful in securing funding.

Schull’s community-procured pontoon was opened to the public in mid 2018 | Credit: Robert BatemanSchull’s community-procured pontoon was opened to the public in mid 2018 | Credit: Robert Bateman

Last year, the company’s application for a further extension of planning permission was refused by the local authority. An appeal to An Bord Pleanála was also rejected as not within its remit, and planning permission officially expired in October.

“As board members, we are deeply disappointed that we have, to date, been unable to deliver this project as we had earnestly hoped we could,” the company writes.

“The project would be of enormous benefit to Schull, the Mizen and wider West Cork economy and appears to have had broad political support. Unfortunately, this support was insufficient to get the project over the line on this occasion.”

One “notable success” of its efforts, the company says, was the provision of a new walkway and community pontoon delivered by Cork County Council in 2018 which “clearly demonstrates the need and potential of our overall project proposals”.

The company concluded: “We wish to express our thanks to all the subscribers and supporters of the initiative and will of course provide further information as it becomes available.” Team

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