A MASSIVE €5m project for Schull harbour is unlikely to be proposed for rural regeneration funding because its planning permission is about to expire.
Every year, the Department of Rural Affairs selects largescale projects for funding and, in 2018 and 2019, the Council proposed Schull.
The project involves the construction of a breakwater, as well as the construction of a 225-berth marina, car park and slipway in phase two.
However, at a Western Committee meeting this week, district manager Clodagh Henehan said even if the project was approved, construction would not start until September 2022, just one month before planning expired.
Councillors were told that the project had already received planning extensions and no further extensions could be granted. An Bord Pleanala’s decision not to approve a breakwater in Baltimore could have a bearing, too, because Schull Harbour is a special area of conservation.
The manager said additional questions regarding cost projections, an EIS, and the foreshore lease, also need to be addressed.
‘If this is not submitted for funding under the regeneration programme, the project is dead in the water after 20 years of work,’ said Senator Tim Lombard this week.
Schull Community Harbour Development Company said it’s confident that the work would be ‘substantially complete’ before the planning permission expires. Cllr Murphy said: ‘It’s rare you would get a project like this shovel-ready, so every effort should be made to support it.’