AN alternative location to extend the car park at Barleycove beach will have to be found because the current site is a SAC (special area of conservation).
At a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District, Social Democrat Cllr Ross O’Connell had sought an update on his previous motion, where he had called for the existing car park at Barleycove to be doubled in size in June when large numbers flock here.
Cllr O’Connell said at the time that the car park is ‘not fit for purpose.’
And he said he didn’t want a repeat of last summer’s chaos where motorists experienced gridlock.
Senior executive officer Mac Dara O h-Icí said that their ecologist went and visited the car park since their last meeting and reported back that because it’s an SAC site extending the car park would interfere with the objectives for which an SAC was set up for.
‘It’s not an option therefore to extend at the current location and we didn’t go further then into looking at a possible land purchase if we are not going to get permission to extend it,’ said Mr O h-Icí.
‘For Barleycove, we have to look at an alternative location outside the SAC if we are looking to extend the car park and that would involve land purchase.
‘I would welcome any suggestions of a location or local contacts.’
Cllr O’Connell suggested that on the east side of the road the SAC straddles some of the land but that most of it isn’t on the SAC site. Mr O h-Icí told the meeting that he would look into it and discuss it further with Cllr O’Connell.
Meanwhile, area engineer Ruth O’Brien said there are plans which are in place to improve access to the beach at Ballyrisode by widening the road there.