BY KIERAN O’MAHONY
PLANS for the multi-million re-development of the former AIB Bank in Schull into a cinema and auditorium could be in jeopardy as the investor is finding it hard to speak to planners.
Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) told a meeting of Cork County Council this week that an investor could walk away from the project due to frustrations with trying to speak to County Council planners.
‘An investor has bought the bank in Schull. He will donate the entire project to the people of Schull, it will cost €3.5m and when finished will be a cinema for the film festival of Schull and an auditorium for acting,’ said Cllr Carroll.
‘In the past month the planners in Skibbereen have refused to answer the phone to the architect,’ he claimed. ‘The planners should be running to these people and the people of Schull are jumping up at the sky looking for this and they’re getting it for nothing. It’s quite possible that this investor could withdraw from the investment because the planners won’t answer the phone,’ said Cllr Carroll.
Council chief executive Tim Lucey said he was a bit disappointed that Cllr Carroll brought the matter of that nature into the chamber and that he should have contacted himself or the divisional manager if the situation was as serious as he said.
Cllr Carroll said that planning is a major issue with all his fellow councillors and that the county planning and development authority ‘are anti-development in West Cork.’
He said he would stand over it and called for consistency from the planning department and questioned why the director of planning wasn’t at the meeting.
‘This business of not answering the phone has to stop and the consistency of planners has to be questioned too, as to why they won’t answer developers who are spending large amounts of money in the region.’